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The Sport Matrix: Friday 16 August 2013

Spurs accept Bale will be out until end of August

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that Gareth Bale will not be fit to play until the club’s derby game against Arsenal one day before the transfer window closes, raising the possibility that the Welshman has already played his last game for Spurs.
The Tottenham manager said that he was already planning to be without Bale for the games against Crystal Palace on Sunday; the Europa League qualifier against Dinamo Tbilisi on Thursday and the first home league match of the season against Swansea in nine days.
Villas-Boas said “ideally”
Bale would stay at Spurs next season but could offer no guarantees.
He added: “We will have to see how he returns today from Wales, and assess if the pain in his foot has stopped troubling his progress to return into first team training.”
Asked about Bale’s state of mind, Villas-Boas said: “His mental state nobody knows because the player doesn’t speak.” Pressed on the subject, he said: “It’s fine, it’s fine.” MORE

Shakes-Drayton ‘gutted’ to miss out

Perri Shakes-Drayton failed to add to Britain’s medal tally at the World Championships last night, finishing seventh in the 400 metres hurdles final and injuring her left knee. “I’m gutted obviously,” she said. “Before I hit the hurdle, I felt it [her knee] and I lost control.” MORE

BT signs three-year deal with Virgin

BT has signed a three-year wholesale deal with Virgin Media on the eve of the new Premier League season to allow the cable company to show BT Sport television channels to its customers. Virgin Media will provide BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN to its TV customers.

Bent picks Fulham instead of Palace

Crystal Palace were left disappointed as Darren Bent – who looked set to join them on loan from Aston Villa – chose to go to Fulham instead. Palace manager Ian Holloway said: “It’s life. Fulham are bigger sharks than us. My chairman’s going to have to get used to that.” MORE

Suarez will not ‘sabotage’ season

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he will not let the impasse with Luis Suarez “sabotage” the club’s start to the Premier League season. Suarez will meet Rodgers at the club’s Melwood training ground today ahead of their opening league game against Stoke tomorrow.

Farah chases ‘double double’

Mo Farah aims to achieve an historic ‘double double’ when he bids to win the 5,000m at the World Championships tonight. A win would add to his two Olympic gold medals last summer and his 10,000m victory last Saturday. MORE

Injured Bresnan out of Ashes series

England pace bowler Tim Bresnan has been ruled out of the rest of the season with a stress fracture of the back and is unlikely to be fit in time for the second half of the back-to-back Ashes series in Australia this winter. MORE

Champion Bartoli decides to retire

Marion Bartoli, 28, has announced her retirement from tennis – less than six weeks after winning Wimbledon. “My body was really starting to fall apart,” she said. “There are so many things to do in life rather than playing tennis.” MORE

Harlequins sign ex-England winger

Harlequins have signed former England wing Paul Sackey. He returns to the capital after three years playing in France with Toulon and Stade Francais. Sackey said: “I wanted to return to England to finish my career.”

England debrief

Football Editor Glenn Moore reflects on the lessons learnt from England’s friendly win over Scotland – including Joe Hart’s form, Rickie Lambert’s impact and goalscorer Danny Welbeck’s display. MORE

Federer eases into quarter-finals

Roger Federer remains on course to win the Cincinnati Masters for the sixth time after beating Germany’s Tommy Haas 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals. Novak Djokovic coasted to a 6-2, 6-0 win over David Goffin to earn a match with John Isner.

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