Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Wenger: Cesc is not going like Owen

Cesc Fabregas

Manager Arsene Wenger is confident Cesc Fabregas will not experience similar anguish to Michael Owen following the Arsenal captain's latest hamstring woe.

The 23-year-old midfielder is expected to miss the next two weeks after injuring his right leg in Tuesday night's Champions League defeat at Braga. The problem follows a troublesome strain in his other leg, which he suffered in September's Barclays Premier League draw at Sunderland.

But Wenger is confident Fabregas is not heading down the same path as Manchester United striker Owen, who has been dogged by hamstring trouble throughout his career, and he said: "Cesc is a ball giver and Owen was more a runner. The strength of Owen was based on his pace and the timing of his runs. Cesc is more a playmaker, so he doesn't need to sprint as much."

He added: "That's what is remarkable in Cesc's case: usually, people who are exposed to hamstring injuries are sprinters like Owen or Ryan Giggs but Cesc is more a stamina player and that's what puzzles me a little bit.

"I'll do what is right for him and for the club but I will listen, of course, to medical people. It is a hamstring and I remember Ryan Giggs has gone through that his whole career but it didn't stop him from making a big career."

Wenger revealed he may ration Fabregas' playing time for the next couple of months in order to prevent his star player suffering a recurrence of the injury. And he vowed the club's fitness experts would leave no stone unturned to ensure the midfielder makes a full recovery.

"We will consult every specialist we can," he said. "But, at the end of the day, it doesn't stop him from being injured."

Wenger admitted he did not know whether the responsibility of captaincy was causing Fabregas to put more strain on his body.

"I think he has more pressure on his shoulders than before," he said. "Pressure to do well, pressure to deliver, to be the captain. He feels responsibility to win things that's for sure.

"I don't know if that has an influence but it's difficult because you can have psychological reasons or physical reasons - it's difficult."

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