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Diaby gets green light for Marseille debut

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."