Mertesacker confident on EURO fitness
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Germany's Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker said Tuesday he is confident of being fit to play at this June's European Championships despite having an operation to repair torn ankle ligaments. The 27-year-old centre back damaged his ankle in the Gunners' Premier League match against Sunderland on 11 February, which left Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger saying he would be out for a 'long time'.

But after a successful operation, the Germany star has said he is confident of making the squad for UEFA EURO 2012, to be hosted by the Ukraine and Poland, which starts on 8 June. "The Euro is not in danger," said Mertesacker, who did not say when he would be able to return to play for Arsenal. "I had surgery last night and a piece of bone has been reattached to the ankle, as have the ligaments. All's gone well, and I am already in rehab."

Having won 79 caps for Germany, Mertesacker is the cornerstone of the German defence and joined Arsenal in August 2011. Joachim Low-coached Germany host France in Bremen on 29 February in their final friendly before naming their 23-man squad in May. Germany have drawn Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark in Group B of EURO 2012.