Vermaelen to play through pain barrier

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has promised to play through the pain barrier for the Gunners in order to help the club stay in contention for both Premier League and Champions League glory.

The former Ajax stopper has been a revelation for the Emirates Stadium outfit since arriving last summer, netting seven times in all competitions as well as proving a consistently solid presence in defence.

It had been feared that the Belgian had broken his leg after being forced off during Arsenal's goalless draw with Aston Villa last month, only for scans to show that the defender had suffered severe bruising.

Arsene Wenger is already without defensive mainstays Manuel Almunia, Williams Gallas and Alex Song - as well as long-term absentee Kieran Gibbs - for the Champions League last 16 tie against Porto on Wednesday.

And 24-year-old Vermaelen has revealed that he is happy to play on for Gunners, despite the discomfort.

"It turned out that I could play against Manchester United, but after that game I had some more problems, so I went for another scan," he said, as reported by the Press Association.

"We could see then that there was a big bruise on the bone, and that's all. It is painful but that can be controlled with medicine and when it is not broken, you can't do too much wrong.

"It is not a big problem to play. Yes it is still there and will take some time to go away, but it is not dangerous."

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