Arsène Wenger hopeful over Thomas Vermaelen injury

Arsenal boss hoping centre-half's calf problem is not too serious after he was substituted in Carling Cup win

arsene wenger
Wenger's side lost 2-1 to Birmingham in last season's Carling Cup final PA Photos

arsene wenger

Arsène Wenger was hoping for the best after Thomas Vermaelen limped off injured during Arsenal 2-1 Carling Cup win over Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday.

The centre-half, who had not featured since August after undergoing ankle surgery, was substituted late on during the fourth-round victory at Emirates Stadium with a calf problem.

But the Arsenal boss played down the seriousness of the problem after the game and hailed the Belgium international’s display.

“He did very well,” Wenger said. “He had to come off for a minor calf problem but I hope it’s not too bad.

“He will be a bit short for Saturday, I don’t know yet what I will do. We have to test him tomorrow [Wednesday], but it doesn’t look too bad.

“He has been out for a long time, he had only one training session yesterday with the team. I didn’t really expect a game of that intensity, it was a tough one for a centre-back. They put us under pressure in the second half and the intensity of the game was very high.

“We don’t think it is a calf strain, it is just tight calves. He has not played a proper game for two months. He was adamant he couldn’t go on so I hope it’s not too bad.”

Vermaelen himself later added on Twitter: “I had a small cramp at the end. Nothing serious. Just went out as a precaution.”

Former Gunner Fabrice Muamba had given Owen Coyle’s side the lead just after the break in north London, before Andrey Arshavin and Park Chu-Young scored in three second-half minutes to confirm Arsenal’s place in Saturday’s quarter-final draw.

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