Abou Diaby may not make his debut for Marseille until next year.

The former Arsenal midfielder signed for the French side in the summer and has been pencilled in for a return a number of times only to see that date pushed back as he continues to struggle with his fitness.

“He is better, even if there is nothing definitive”, explained the coach of OM, Michel.

“He follows a program specific work and he does not get much rest during the Christmas break. But if he continues to progress as it has done recently, he will be a player like the others when we get back from vacation.”

Olympique de Marseille's French president Vincent Labrune (C) poses with new players French Lassana Diarra (L) and Abou Diaby, prior to the Robert Louis-Dreyfus trophy friendly football match Olympique de Marseille vs Juventus on August 1, 2015 at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, southern France. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
Olympique de Marseille’s French president Vincent Labrune (C) poses with new players French Lassana Diarra (L) and Abou Diaby, prior to the Robert Louis-Dreyfus trophy friendly football match Olympique de Marseille vs Juventus on August 1, 2015 at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, southern France. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS

The words, while optimistic, are ones that we have, sadly, heard all too often in regards to the man who was crippled not long after landing in England to begin his Arsenal career.

I’d love nothing more than to see Diaby finally take to the field, his injury problems a thing of the past, but the longer it takes him to get back playing this time, the less likely that seems.

Few people deserve anything from football, but Abou Diaby must surely be one of a very small bunch of people who deserves a chance to have at least some sort of career before he’s too old.

READ MORE:
Wenger: When Chelsea scored I thought 'Here we go...'

Unfortunately, that is not something that seems at all realistic.