Arsenal have revealed that despite Thomas Vermaelen undergoing a surprise operation on an ankle, he will be back in first team action in around 30 days – rather than the two months this morning’s newspapers claimed.
“Vermaelen has undergone a minor procedure to remove an inflamed plantaris tendon from his left ankle,” read an Arsenal statement.
“This is the same treatment that he had on his right ankle in January this year and has nothing to do with his Achilles tendon.
“The action was taken after consultation with specialists who advised this was the best thing to do to prevent it becoming a persistent problem.”
The fact that Vermaelen’s layoff is to be half of what was initially feared is a boost for the club.
Arsene Wenger has recently suffered poor luck so far this season with regard to his players’ fitness, particularly with England midfielder Jack Wilshere confirming his absence for up to three months yesterday.
It does however mean that Per Mertesacker is likely to make his debut for Arsenal perhaps earlier than expected, with the Germany international now almost certainly pencilled in to start against Swansea City this weekend.
Other players likely to be in contention for that match are Park Chu Young, who scored a hat-trick for his South Korea against Lebanon, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who supplied three assists and won a penalty for England U21s against Israel.