Thomas Vermaelen has broken his silence to send a message of patience to Barcelona fans following the injury nightmare he has suffered at the Camp Nou since his 2014 summer move from Arsenal.
However, the former Arsenal captain has since been unable to make his debut in manager Luis Enrique's side due to an injury he suffered during the Brazil World Cup – prior to his move to the Camp Nou.
Having also had a reputation for being injury prone during his time at the Emirates Stadium, some reports recently claimed he had suffered a new setback and would not be ready to play until next season.
But Vermaelen has published a video on Facebook to send a message to the fans while claiming he is making good progress in his recovery and is "right on schedule to get back in the squad in April".
"It's a big step in my rehab, starting running. I'm very happy to be outside again instead of staying inside in the gym all the time," he said.
"What I would like to say to the fans is to keep patient. Of course I want to thank everybody at the club, the staff, the medical team are doing a great job. Unfortunately it takes a lot of time, but I'm hoping to come back as strongly as I can.
"I haven't played an official match for Barcelona yet because I picked up a serious injury with the national team during the World Cup. At that time they diagnosed [me] in a hospital somewhere in Brazil and they said that I had a normal strain that would cost me maybe 10 days so we tried to get ready after a week.
"Barcelona did notice the seriousness of the injury doing the medical. There were two options, [that's] what they said in Arsenal as well: you could do surgery, but they said 'it's not necessary, you can do preventive exercises and make it as strong as you can, and then it shouldn't be a problem'.
"I chose for the last option because when I came to Barcelona we spoke to a lot of specialists all over the world and they said all the same that it is possible to do [recover] without surgery."
But even though Barcelona initially claimed he was going to be out of action for a short period, in November 2014 , the club announced Vermaelen required surgery and was going to be out of action for four to six months.
He said: "It didn't work out. We tried for a couple of months and I could feel it wasn't the same as before. I tried a lot of exercises to make it very strong, but obviously there was something missing there. So we went to get some advice from another specialist, a very famous one, and he said: 'Maybe now is the time to do surgery; definitely that will help you to get the strength back - not only the strength, but like coordination, and the muscle will function much better.'"