After missing virtually all of last season through an injury to his right Achilles, Arsenal centre-back Thomas Vermaelen sustained a similar injury to his left Achilles during the win in Udine for progression into the Champions League stages.
The injury forced him out of the humiliating defeat at Old Trafford and also forced him to withdraw from international duty with Belgium with Arsenal keen to see if the injury would calm down itself, an approach which resulted in Vermaelen undergoing the surgery on his right Achilles anyway after a long lay-off last season.
With the possible danger of a repeat of last season, Arsenal medics decided that surgery would be the right way to go immediately with the Belgian defender having the operation in Stockholm on Monday.
The surgery is another set-back for the gunners, although now having new added depth in defence it is hoped that both Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos can pick up the slack left behind due to the absence of Vermaelen.
It is expected that Vermaelen will be out for at least a month, but Arsenal are hopeful that the strong Belgian will be back and playing within two months.
As a key part of the squad, I hope Vermaelen has a very quick and speedy recovery. There is no doubt the no-nonsense Belgian has easily been our best defender so far this term and it would be great for Arsenal and himself to start building his partnership with Per Mertesacker sooner rather than later!