MOSCOW, May 28 (Sputnik) - Barcelona and Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen, who was named in his country's preliminary squad for 2018 FIFA World Cup, has not fully recovered from his injury yet, Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez said Monday.
Vermaelen suffered a hamstring injury during Barcelona's 5-4 defeat at the hands of Levante in La Liga on May 13.
"Thomas Vermaelen is not fit at the moment. He worked very hard the last couple of weeks. This week, we hope to see some good progression," Martinez said as quoted by the team's official Twitter account.
The defender, who joined Barcelona from Arsenal in 2014 and is contracted until 2019, has made 66 international appearances and scored one goal for the Red Devils.
Russia will host its first-ever FIFA World Cup from June 14 to July 15, with matches set to take place in 11 cities across the country.
Belgium will begin their World Cup campaign with a game against Panama on June 18 and will face Tunisia five days later. They will play England in their final Group G game on June 28.