The 30-year-old had been hoping to find a new club this summer having allowed his contract at Villa Park to expire, but another setback on his left knee appears to have halted his career prospects in the short term.
An end-of-season MRI scan showed the Dutch international had torn his medial meniscus, as he did in January, and having a similar procedure twice in six months to try and remedy the issue has left Vlaar facing an extended spell on the sidelines.
Revealing the news in a blog post, Vlaar wrote: “Instead of two days with crutches, there will now be a four to six weeks period. Instead of four weeks rehabilitation, it will now take three to four months.
“On hearing this news it was a defining moment, I was stunned and I struggled to keep my composure. Even now when I think about it, the news is very hard to swallow.”
Vlaar has been linked with Lazio and Southampton this summer and while his present situation may put off suitors for now, he is confident he can return to play for another five years.
He added: “Where will this eventually bring me? At the level that suits me and I always aim for the highest goal – I’m sure I will be fine.
“I will prepare myself so I will be able to play at least five more years at the highest level and for the Netherlands national team.”