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Injured Diaby to miss Arsenal's Champions League final

Written by: Staff

LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) Arsenal's French midfielder Abou Diaby will be unavailable for the Champions League final after suffering a serious ankle injury in their 3-0 Premier League win at Sunderland.

The London club said on their website that Diaby, who turns 20 on May 11, fractured and dislocated his right ankle in a tackle by Sunderland defender Dan Smith in yesterday's match and will miss the final games of the season.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who signed Diaby from AJ Auxerre in the January transfer window, said: ''It is a big blow to lose a player like that...I feel sorry for him because he worked very hard to come back.'' Diaby, who was on the bench against Real Madrid and Juventus in the Champions League, had only recently recovered from injury.

Wenger was angry about the manner of Diaby's injury, telling Arsenal's website: ''...it was a bad kick and an unneeded one.

''It is one thing to lose a player but it is the spirit of the way he has been kicked, and (Francesc) Fabregas a few times, that is just not acceptable.

''The only person who thought it should not be a red card was the referee.'' Wenger was pleased, though, with England left back Ashley Cole's return from injury.

''He did well when he came on. He played in midfield and looks physically sharp,'' he said.

''We play on Thursday and on Sunday he will certainly play one of the two games. He is getting better and better. He is ready for 90 minutes.'' Arsenal's last two Premier League games of the season are away to Manchester City and at home to Wigan Athletic. They face Barcelona in the Champions League final on May 17 in Paris.

Reuters PG VV1817

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