Football: Anderton hoping to make early return

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The Independent Online
Tottenham's Darren Anderton admits that the groin injury which kept him out of football for seven months last season could leave the legacy of a recurring problem in his career.

But Anderton, whom England have had to leave out of their opening World Cup match against Moldova on Sunday, dismissed suggestions that he faces another long lay-off after missing Spurs' goalless draw with Everton last weekend.

Anderton, 24, will be working in the gym and having heat treatment to combat the latest injury setback while his England team-mates fly out to Moldova.

"I'm told that some people are suggesting I will now be out for two more months," he said, "but I don't read that nonsense. I don't know if I will be back for the next Spurs game at Wimbledon next Wednesday, but I'm certainly looking to be fit to play again as soon as possible.

"It is a big blow for me to miss the England game, but I had such a bad time last season that just starting the new one fit and healthy was wonderful for me. The last operation I had was a big one and even though I came back at the end of last season and played in Euro 96, I was never able to train very much.

"And with so many matches in such a short time at the start of a new season, it is not really surprising that the area around the injury has become a little bit sore and weak. I'm determined to look after myself properly and not push things too far when I'm not 100 per cent."

There has been inevitable reaction to the surgery Anderton had last winter, the second of two hernia operations removing a large piece of muscle which had become irreparably damaged.

"I've still had aches and pains and it may be something that keeps happening from time to time," he said. "But if I have to miss a few matches now and again, so be it. The main thing is I am back playing again on a more regular basis.

"At the moment, it is just a question of working with weights and having treatment, but I'm hoping that by the start of next week there will be a big improvement."

His Tottenham team-mate Chris Armstrong, who damaged an ankle in the Everton game, is hopeful he will be back in action in two weeks.

Tony Lanaghan, the Spurs physiotherapist, said : "Happily, Chris has not injured his Achilles as we first feared. The problem is a medial ligament which he has had before and at the worst that means four weeks out. We are waiting for the result of a scan to make sure that no blood has seeped into the injured area and if not Chris could be playing again in a fortnight."

The Porto striker Domingos will miss Portugal's World Cup qualifier against Armenia and could be out for up to five months after tearing knee ligaments. Domingos underwent an operation at Oporto's Santa Maria hospital yesterday after tearing ligaments in his right knee during training for Saturday's match against Armenia, a World Cup Group Nine qualifying game.

Dr Mario Beca, who is also vice-president of Porto, was in charge of the operation and said Domingos would need more than three months to recuperate. Domingos was the Portuguese First Division's top scorer last season with 25 goals.