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Vermaelen suffers fresh injury blow at Barcelona as calf complaint sidelines him for a month

6:52 PM GMT+4 17/12/2018
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The Belgium international defender is set to be missing for the Blaugrana in their next five matches after picking up another untimely knock

Injury-plagued Thomas Vermaelen will be out of action for a month after suffering a torn muscle in his calf, Barcelona have confirmed.

Vermaelen was featuring in La Liga for just the third time this season in the 5-0 crushing of Levante on Sunday when he sustained the injury, forcing his withdrawal for Arthur in the 52nd minute.

A statement released by the Catalan giants on their official website read: "The first team player Thomas Vermaelen felt a problem in Sunday's game away at Levante.

"Tests carried out on the defender show that he has a torn muscle in his right calf and will be out for around four weeks." 

The Belgian has endured woeful luck with injuries in his career, missing lengthy periods at Arsenal due to fitness problems.

The issues continued after his move to Barca in 2014, robbing him of the chance of being consistently available for selection.

Vermaelen has already missed almost two months of action this term due to a hamstring strain, and he is unlikely to feature in any of Barca's next five games.

La Liga's pacesetters host Celta Vigo in their last game before the mid-season break, returning in January for league action against Getafe and Eibar as well as a two-legged Copa del Rey tie with Levante.

They are also in a position to start piecing together plans for their next Champions League test.

Ernesto Valverde has discovered that his side will face Lyon in the last 16 of that competition.