PHOTOS: Arsenal's injured captain was injured even ahead of Belgium's game

Marc Wilmots apeared to take a risk with Thomas Vermaelen yesterday, knowing the Arsenal captain was injured in Belgium's warm up against Russia.

Marc Wilmots was forced to take off Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen after just half an hour of the game against Russia but did he take an unnecessary risk with his key defender?

The Belgian is carrying a knee problem and it’s too early to tell whether it will keep him out of the final group game against South Korea and the first knock out round, which Belgium have qualified for.

Vermaelen was pictured having treatment for a problem during Belgium’s warm up before the game against Russia, but Wilmots decided to go ahead with his plans to start the Manchester United transfer target regardless.

Arsene Wenger is unlikely to be a happy chap considering the number of injuries the Gunners were forced to deal with last season.

If he has no plans to let Vermaelen leave then Wenger’s aim will be to keep him, and the rest of the squad, fit ahead of an intense pre-season schedule and the new Premier League season.

However, his reaction after he was taken off on 31 minutes suggests that the problem could be a bad one, potentially long term and something that may keep him out of the rest of the tournament.

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