Vermaelen out until New year

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LONDON, December 6 – Arsenal centre-back Thomas Vermaelen is set to remain out of action until the New Year at the earliest, manager Arsene Wenger said Monday.

Vermaelen has not played for the Premier League leaders since Belgium’s Euro 2012 qualifier in Turkey on September 7 after suffering an Achilles injury.

Arsenal had hoped his injury was short-term and Wenger, speaking to the Gunners’ official website, said there was "no logical explanation" for the 25-year-old Vermaelen’s extended absence.

"Vermaelen is in a (protective) boot," said Wenger.

"We want him back and I hope he will be back soon, but not before January."

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