Vermaelen: I’ll play through pain

The 24-year-old feared he had fractured his leg against Aston Villa

last month but played against Manchester United four days later

despite feeling the effects of heavy bruising. The Belgium defender

still feels discomfort due to the injury but is determined to carry

on playing, with the Champions League trip to Porto on Wednesday

next on the agenda for Arsene Wenger’s men. “It turned out that I

could play against Manchester United, but after that game I had

some more problems, so I went for another scan,” Vermaelen said.

“We could see then that there was a big bruise on the bone, and

that’s all – so it is painful but that can be controlled with

medicine and when it is not broken, you can’t do too much wrong.

“It is not a big problem to play – yes it is still there and will

take some time to go away, but it is not dangerous.” The defeats to

United and Chelsea were setbacks for Arsenal in their title bid but

they have since got back to winning ways with maximum points

against Liverpool. “We will keep fighting to the end as a team,

that is all we can do,” Vermaelen said. “The important thing is to

stay together. When you lose, it is easy to say it is his fault or

his fault, but I think it is important to remain as a team and a

unit. “We will battle until the last moment of the season.”