Key utility player could now miss the start of the new campaign.
Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen will not now travel with the rest of the Gunners squad on their pre-season tour of the Far East after suffering a back injury while away on international duty, claims the Daily Mirror.
The Belgium international sustained the problem while playing for his country in last month’s World Cup qualifiers, although it had been thought that he a period of rest and recuperation would cure the issue.
However, after reporting back from holiday for the start of preseason last week, it has now been discovered that the 27-year-old has in fact cracked a bone in the lower half of his back, which has in turn led to other related injury problems in his calf.
And that means that the central defender will not be able to take part in the Gunners’ trip to Asia this summer, with the squad due to leave for the Far East this Thursday, with Vermaelen now set to remain behind in the capital in order to try and get himself fit for the start of the new season.
This latest setback will come as a massive blow to the centre back cum left back, especially after losing his first-team place in the previous campaign, a season in which Vermaelen featured in just 39 matches overall in all competitions for Arsene Wenger’s side, including only 29 contests in the Premier League.