Thomas Vermaelen back in training at Barca after surgery

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen
Vermaelen had surgery on his troublesome hamstring in December

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen has trained with his team-mates for the first time since surgery in December.

The 29-year-old Belgian, who joined from Arsenal for £15m in August, is yet to make his debut after suffering a hamstring injury at the World Cup.

However, the Belgium international has targeted a return to competitive action next month.

"The main novelty at the training session was Thomas Vermaelen," Barca said on their website on Wednesday.

"The Belgian defender was able to complete part of training with the rest of the group," added the Catalan giants, who are four points clear of second-placed Real Madrid after Sunday's 2-1 victory and next face Celta Vigo on 4 April.

Vermaelen began his career at Ajax before spending five years with the Gunners.