Vermaelen to go under the knife and miss 4-5 months

Reuters , Thursday 27 Nov 2014

Thomas Vermaelen
Barcelona's defender Thomas Vermaelen (Photo: Reuters)

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen will have an operation to correct a thigh problem next week and is expected to be out for four to five months, the La Liga club said on Thursday.

The Belgium centre back, who sustained the injury playing against Russia at the World Cup in June, has yet to make his competitive debut after joining from Arsenal in August and his signing has become something of an embarrassment for the Barca board.

"Thomas Vermaelen will undergo surgery ... next Tuesday in Finland," Barca said on their website (www.fcbarcelona.es). "The estimated recovery time is four to five months."

Vermaelen, 29, has struggled with injury since joining Arsenal from Ajax Amsterdam in 2009.

He sustained an Achilles injury in 2010 followed by a series of other niggling problems and featured only 21 times for the London club last season.

He was meant to help bolster Barca's defence, which performed poorly last term when they failed to win major silverware for the first time in six years.

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