Jol will not take chances on Lennon's fitness

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The Independent Online

The Tottenham manager Martin Jol said he will not gamble on the fitness of Aaron Lennon against Slavia Prague tonight.

The England winger, who injured his knee in training last Friday, looked likely to be out for up to a month but has made such a surprising recovery that he could be included.

The 19-year-old has a minor tear in his cartilage which may yet require an operation but Jol is adamant he will not take any chances with the youngster.

Lennon trained with the rest of the squad in the stadium yesterday afternoon and Jol said: "We will remain cautious. His injury has settled down and that was a bit surprising.

"But he is young fellow. He will have a fitness test and there is a possibility that he will be considered for selection. He wants to play but I won't gamble. I won't sacrifice players because we have a big squad. We have different options and Aaron is important to us. If he is 100 per cent he will be in the squad."

Jol also has concerns about his £10.8m Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov, who missed the recent defeat at Manchester United with a groin problem and, like Lennon, his fitness will also be the subject of a late test. Jol added: "Berbatov still has a minor problem with his groin and he will do a test. But we still have 19 players with us so we will field our strongest team.

"Hossam Ghaly has got a groin injury so he stayed in London and Danny Murphy has a little calf problem, so he stayed at home as well."

Provisional squad: Robinson, Cerny, Stalteri, Chimbonda, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Huddlestone, Jenas, Davids, Tainio, Lennon, Berbatov, Keane, Defoe, Zokora, Davenport, Lee, Mido.

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