Emirates idol admits frustration at injury nightmare.
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Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has no idea when he will return from his injury nightmare.
The 25-year-old has not played since August since suffering from an achilles injury.
The issue is not the Achilles tendon itself but another tendon in the area, which not all people have and is said to serve no purpose.
The Belgium international was initially supposed to be out for six weeks but doctors have struggled to cure the problem.
He has attempted several comebacks but to no avail and recently spent a week of intensive rehabilitation treatment in the Netherlands.
But it is unlikely he will feature for the Gunners again this term.
The news is another blow for manager, Arsene Wenger, who has just lost Johan Djourou with a dislocated shoulder for the rest of the season leaving Arsenal short on defensive options.
Vermaelen admits his frustration at the problem and reveals he suffered six relapses during his rehabilitation.
“I feel no trouble in the Achilles tendon itself, but the muscles around it still need to be made stronger,” he said to Het Nieuwsblad. “I do not know when I will be back.
“At first they said I would need four or six weeks after the operation. But it soon became apparent that it would last longer. I’m not even in training. I’m still working on my exercises to come back.
“I relapsed six times. That was hard. Every time I had a goal to come back, but that was then broken again and again.
“I am now cautious. It is frustrating that I cannot play. I had never been injured for so long. On some days it’s mentally very tough but I see this as a test.
“Perhaps it is also good for my career and it will make me stronger mentally.”