Cesc Fabregas won't be another Michael Owen says Arsene Wenger

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The Independent Football

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

Midfielder Fabregas 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 despite admitting the 23-year-old's recent travails have left Gunners medics baffled, manager 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 needed surgery to fix the latest recurrence earlier this year.

"Cesc is a ball giver and Owen was more a runner," said Wenger.

"The strength of Owen was more based on his pace and the timing of his runs.

"Cesc is more a playmaker, so he doesn't need to sprint as much.

"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 yesterday 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."

But the Gunners boss, who takes his side to Aston Villa tomorrow, has no intention of removing the burden of the armband, adding: "When you take the captaincy away from someone, you put more pressure on that person.

"You tell them that he's not good enough to be captain.

"He had a period where he had problems with his hamstring - but the more you make a case of it, the more it becomes a problem."