Abou Diaby's latest injury nightmare appears to be coming to an end after the Marseille midfielder stated he has "never been so close" to a first-team return.
French midfielder Diaby signed for Marseille on a free transfer in July following the expiry of his Arsenal contract, but he has yet to make his debut for the Ligue 1 side after spending 18 frustrating months on the sidelines.
Diaby has not played a competitive fixture since a 2-1 League Cup defeat for Arsenal against Southampton in September 2014, a troublesome calf problem keeping him out of action.
The 29-year-old's time at Emirates Stadium was blighted by injury problems, but Diaby is seemingly closing in on a return to competitive action and hopes to be part of Michel's squad for Friday's Ligue 1 clash with Rennes.
"All lights are green, I'm ready to play," he told a media conference. "I have never been as close to a return.
"We have had to settle everything. If I had relapses this season, they were linked to past injuries, I have no new injuries, it was a recurrence.
"The medical staff have done a great job, everything has been cleared.
"It would difficult to return and start [against Rennes] but the key [for me] is to be taken from the squad and put on the bench, to feel the atmosphere of the game, it would be huge. I feel good."
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