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Arsene Wenger has insisted that the ankle injury which has sidelined Sol Campbell is not a smokescreen to mask deeper problems.

The England defender had a four-day break from football last week after walking out of Highbury midway through Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat by West Ham.

Campbell did not contact anyone at the club for 48 hours, raising fears for his mental well-being.

“Sol has come back, but he is out now,” the Arsenal manager said. “He played two or three weeks with it, but the injury became worse against West Ham.

“It’s a genuine injury, purely physical. It is an ankle injury, but not a ligament problem. It is bone bruising. He cannot kick the ball at the moment.”

Wenger also confirmed that he had held talks with Campbell.

“It was needed, I met Sol and we had a frank explanation,” Wenger said. “He is highly-motivated to do well and he spoke as well to the players.

“We are all behind him and we support him. I believe he will support us as much as he can until the end of the season.”

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