Thomas Vermaelen thinks he could be fit for first team action by the end of the month although he’s still cautious about pinpointing a specific date for his return.
The Belgian international, who has not played since the Gunners beat Wigan 4-1 at the tail end of last term, has stepped up his recovery from a chronic back problem and hinted that he could play some part in Arsenal’s Capital One Cup game at West Bromwich Albion on 25 September.
Speaking optimistically about his rehabilitation, the club captain told the Daily Star:
“The West Brom game is a few weeks away yet and hopefully I will be closer to a return. I can’t put a date on my comeback. But I am really happy with how things are going so far.
“It looks like a tough game but a nice game, too. It’s one we will take seriously.”
Having played no part in pre-season it wouldn’t be surprising if Arsenal organise a couple of behind-closed-doors fixtures to help Vermaelen get up to speed.
As things stand he’s down the pecking order at the Emirates but that doesn’t hide the fact we’re only one injury away from a full defensive reshuffle with Bacary Sagna the only other option for a central role. Fingers crossed he can come back fit and find the form that earned him a long-term deal and the captaincy.