National Captain Hopes To Return Next Season

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The 25-year-old centre-back who has not played since last September after Achilles injury during Belgium’s Euro 2012 qualifier with Turkey.

Vermaelen hoped to only miss a few weeks of play but had to have surgery in January and is not expected by his  to take part in any games for the rest of the season.

“The chances that I will play another game this season are small,” he said in an article in Het Laatste Nieuws.

“The manager (Arsene Wenger) says that my season is over. I have been out for seven months, so it’s logical that he won’t take risks.

“Time is ticking away and the season finishes in two months. I must first get fit again, then gain rhythm.

“So I’ve still a long way to go. I can kick a ball as hard as possible, but that’s not my problem. I need to run without pain.”

He admitted that his impatience in the autumn probably did not help the healing process.

“That’s wasn’t too smart: you can’t beat nature.”

Vermaelen also thanked his Arsenal team-mates for supporting him during his recovery.