Arsène Wenger conducted a short Q&A with on Thursday to clarify the situation surrounding Thomas Vermaelen's comeback:

What treatment has Thomas Vermaelen undergone?
It was not a real surgery, it is what you call a procedure. I am not a medical specialist but what they took off is what you call the plantaris tendon. This is a structure that is very rarely injured and they tell me many people do not have one at all. It’s a little tendon next to the Achilles tendon where he had the friction.

And apparently he was not even knocked out…
No. It is a very light one, he is walking today. The time to be back, if all goes well, they tell me is six weeks. A bit more, a bit less I don’t know. But I count six weeks.

Is that six weeks to get back to full training?
To be back competitively. Two weeks without training and four weeks preparation.

Why did you choose Sweden for the procedure?
Because the medical team sought out the best opinions and found two specialists for that kind of problem in Europe. In the end our medical team decided to do it in Sweden.

So they were the best people in the world then?
That’s what we tried to do. We were a bit speechless because you never find any problems with Achilles and the pain is still there. At some stage we had to find out, so we are hopeful this procedure can solve his problems now.

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20 Jan 2011