Vermaelen to miss Arsenal pre-season tour

The Belgium international defender, who has been struggling with a back injury, will miss the club’s tour of Asia and remain in London to receive further treatment instead

Arsenal have confirmed that captain Thomas Vermaelen will not join them on their pre-season tour of Asia.

The Belgium international is struggling with a back injury and will remain in London to recover with the help of the club’s medical department.

The defender has been a regular fixture for Arsenal since signing from Ajax in 2009, and played in 29 matches in all competitions last season.

Reports suggest his chronic back problem could cause him to miss the start of the 2013-14 Premier League season, but Vermaelen has pledged to get back to full fitness as quickly as possible.

“Unfortunately, due to a back injury I can’t join my team mates on the Asia Tour the next few weeks. I will be staying in London … to receive the right treatment. Of course I will do my best to return on the pitch soon, and I will keep you posted on my progress,” the 27-year-old said.

Arsenal commence their tour with a match against the Indonesia Dream Team on Sunday before taking on Nagoya Grampus and Urawa Red Diamonds.

They will then continue their preparations with Emirates Cup matches against Napoli and Galatasaray which take place on August 3 and 4 respectively.

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