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Arsenal crock Vermaelen admits pain made comeback impossible

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen admits his lingering achilles injury has caused him great pain.

The Belgian is heading for Sweden's Umea Hospital to be operated on by local specialist Hakan Alfredson tomorrow.

Although Alfredson, who has operated on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has assured Vermaelen he will put an end to months of injury misery, the £10million signing from Ajax still faces at least a further five weeks out.

"I have already tried to come back three times, but the pain proved too much on each occasion," said Vermaelen, 25.

"Recent tests showed a minor problem next to the achilles tendon has been causing the pain. That's why I'll undergo surgery. I knew I had a problem at the beginning of September, when I was preparing for Belgium's games against Germany and Turkey.

"I didn't want to miss them, but after the game in Turkey, the pain became too great."

 It's all kicking off again! Click here for the No1 coverage of Arsenal's winter market transfer news.

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