Thomas Vermaelen’s recurrent right hamstring injury has reportedly ruled him out of action for the remainder of the season as he still waits to make his Barcelona debut.

Former Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, who was sacked in January for ridiculous ideas and signings, bought the 29-year-old defender from Arsenal last summer for £15m, but injuries have sabotaged his progress and he hasn’t played a single competitive match for the Catalonia giants.

Zubizarreta signed Vermaelen despite his terrible luck with injuries in the previous two years and the fact that he arrived injured after he suffered problems with his hamstring during the World Cup in Marc Wilmort’s side.

However, on the day he was presented at the Nou Camp, Zubizarreta said Vermaelen was ready to perform immediately and that he had no concerns over his fitness but despite playing in a friendly alongside Luis Suarez against the Indonesia Under 19 team in September, he broke down again in November.

Even when the club decided he would need surgery they maintained that the player could make it back before the end of the season. The latest setback puts that return date in doubt.

The Belgian was back in light training with Barca physio Xavi Linde but has had to stop because of muscle pain.

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