Thomas Vermaelen has ankle injection to avoid operation

Thomas Vermaelen
© PA Photos
Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has an injection in his ankle to speed up his recovery ahead of next week's Champions League match against Bayern Munich.

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has had an anti-inflammatory injection in his ankle to avoid a surgery.

The Gunners captain missed last weekend's 1-0 win over Sunderland with the problem and was also unable to feature for Belgium on international duty in midweek.

Vermaelen is expected to return to training this week and is desperate to be fit for Arsenal's Champions League last 16 clash with Bayern Munich next Tuesday.

Arsene Wenger's side have injury problems in defence as Laurent Koscielny continues to struggle with a calf problem that saw him pull out of the starting lineup at Sunderland minutes before kickoff.

With new signing Nacho Monreal cup-tied and Kieran Gibbs on the treatment table, Arsenal need Vermaelen as cover at left-back to face the Bundesliga leaders.

Laurent Koscielny
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