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Abou Diaby poised for Marseille debut after 17-month absence

Olympique de Marseille's French president Vincent Labrune (C) poses with Lassana Diarra (L) and Abou Diaby
Image: Abou Diaby (right) alongside Marseille president Vincent Labrune (centre) and Lassana Diarra after signing for the French club last summer

Abou Diaby could make his Marseille debut on Thursday, 17 months after his last competitive appearance.

The injury-ravaged former Arsenal midfielder last played in the Gunners' Capital One Cup clash with Southampton in September 2014 and joined Marseille last July.

The Ligue 1 club have waited patiently for their summer signing to regain full fitness but he has been included in the matchday squad for Thursday's Coupe de France away tie against third-tier Trelissac.

Coach Michel told the club's website: "We will travel with a squad of 19 players which includes Abou Diaby.

"He has trained with the squad in recent days and he feels ready.

"It is important for the player's morale, it can give him confidence. He will be on the team sheet.

Abou Diaby, Arsenal
Image: Diaby's last appearance for Arsenal was back in September 2014

"It's normal that when someone goes so long without doing what he loves, he feels a bit of pressure, but I do not want him to. The most important thing is his physical and mental well-being."

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Diaby will only be included among the OM substitutes as Michel added: "To start a match, he will need another month of training."

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