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Vermaelen starts Barcelona stint with lingering leg injury from World Cup

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BARCELONA, Spain - Barcelona says Thomas Vermaelen has a lingering muscle injury from the World Cup that will keep him from training with his new teammates.

Barcelona says Vermaelen still has a right-leg muscle injury from playing for Belgium at the World Cup. The club says the speed of his recovery will determine when he practices with the rest of the team.

Vermaelen was unveiled by Barcelona on Sunday after the club paid Arsenal a reported 19 million euros ($25.4 million) for the 28-year-old centre back.

At his presentation, Vermaelen said that he wanted to "put behind" the injuries that had plagued him last season at Arsenal and "start from zero."

Barcelona opens the Spanish league against Elche.

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