Vermaelen could make Arsenal return in Champions League

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen could be ready to return to action when the Gunners meet Bayern Munich in the Champions League next week, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Vermaelen has been absent since the 2-2 draw with Liverpool in January after suffering an ankle injury and manager Arsene Wenger has previously refused to be drawn on when the Belgium international could be back playing.

But Vermaelen has recently returned to training and Wenger revealed he has made good progress in recovering from the injury, and is likely to be involved this weekend when Arsenal play Championship side Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup.

The Telegraph adds that Vermaelen’s return is particularly timely as Arsenal were facing the prospect of playing Bayern without a senior left-back. Kieran Gibbs is struggling with a thigh injury, January signing Nacho Monreal is cup-tied having played in the competition for Malaga, and Andre Santos has been allowed to join Gremio on loan for the rest of the season.

Vermaelen, though more naturally a centre-back, has covered on the flank of a semi-regular basis, and with Laurent Koscielny also expected to be fit to play the Bundesliga leaders, could take up the position in the match on Tuesday.

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