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Belgium defender returns after six-month lay-off with Achilles problem in reserve match with Manchester United who welcomed back Darren Fletcher

Arsene Wenger has recieved a massive boost after his Belgium centre-back Thomas Vermaelen completed 90 minutes for Arsenal reserves in a match against Manchester United.

The Gunners defender has missed the last six months with an Achilles injury but there is now a chance he could return to action before the end of the season.

Wenger, though, had stated that he won't consider Vermaelen for the upcoming clash with Manchester United insisting he is not ready yet.

The reserve game also featured Darren Fletcher, who returned to play the first 45 minutes for Manchester United, his first action for two months after suffering a debilitating virus.

It is unlikely that he would be in contention for the match at the Emirates on Sunday but he will be in line for a return in next week's Champions League semi-final second leg with Schalke.

The United reserves also featured Wes Brown and Bebe, and the two sides played out a 0-0 draw.

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