Vermaelen ruled out for a month with ankle injury
Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen was ruled out for a month on Tuesday after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury, adding to the London team's problems at the start of the Premier League season.
The Belgium center back, who missed eight months of last season with an Achilles' injury, had the operation to remove an inflamed tendon from his left ankle after consultation with specialists.
Vermaelen was injured in Arsenal's 2-1 win over Udinese in the second leg of their Champions League qualifying playoff match in Italy, forcing him out of the team's humiliating 8-2 defeat at Manchester United in the Premier League four days later.
He will miss Arsenal's first two Champions League group games as well as possibly four Premier League matches, denying manager Arsene Wenger the chance to link Vermaelen with new signing Per Mertesacker, who joined from Werder Bremen on transfer deadline day last week.
Key midfielder Jack Wilshere said Sunday he expects to be sidelined for at least two months with an ankle injury, leaving the club without two of its most important players.
Arsenal is fourth from bottom in the Premier League with one point from three games.