Marseille hopeful of Diaby return

Olympique de Marseille head coach Michel is hopeful new signing Abou Diaby will be fit and ready to make his debut in a month's time.

The injury-plagued 29-year-old joined the Ligue 1 side on a free transfer during the off-season after his contract with Arsenal expired.

Diaby's nine-year spell with the Gunners was marred by a succession of serious injury troubles, but Michel is hoping to have the midfielder back in action soon.

"We expect him to progressively start training with the rest of the squad in less than a week," the Spanish coach told French daily L'Equipe. "If everything goes well, I'm crossing my fingers, it is possible that he will be playing again in a month.

"He is a player who we need in the dressing room, and we already have that. He works very hard and it is rare to see a player who has spent so much time without playing not get demoralised.

"He is an example to the other players. But we will need him on the field later on. We spoke to him before [about being left out of the Europa League squad].

"We told him about the situation and he told us how he felt and it is a way for us to show him that we didn't want him to feel under pressure to be back in time to make the squad. The goal is to make sure he is relaxed."