Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen will be out of action for around three months after sustaining a stress fracture in his lower back.

The Belgian centre-half was ruled out of the Gunners' pre-season tour of Asia with a back problem which has since been diagnosed as more severe than first thought.

It is believed that Vermaelen will be out of action until the middle of October, meaning he will miss the opening two months of the 2013/14 campaign.

 Click here to reach the No1 destination for hard news and exciting gossip on Arsenal