Tottenham Hotspur were hoping for good news from Gareth Bale’s ankle scan today after their best player was stretchered off in agony during last night’s 2-2 draw with FC Basel.
The Welsh forward will be out for a minimum of two weeks and risks missing even more of Spurs’ crucial Premier League run-in after damaging ligaments in his right ankle in added-time last night.
He will miss the home league game with Everton on Sunday and the return leg against Basel in Switzerland next Thursday. Spurs’ manager Andre Villas-Boas said last night that a good outcome from today’s scan should see him return to face Manchester City on 21 April but bad news could see him miss longer.
“There is a big, big possibility, if we stay within the positives, that he is going to be able to make it for the City game and will only miss the next two games,” Villas-Boas said. “Assurances we can only release tomorrow because he can only have the scan tomorrow.
“Obviously Gareth has rolled over his ankle. It shouldn’t be as bad as it looks because Gareth has torn that ligament before and there’s nothing to tear now. There is lots of swelling and the pain is obviously very, very big but we hope to assess him tomorrow [Friday].”
After facing Manchester City, Spurs have league games against Wigan, Southampton, Stoke City and Sunderland as well as a tie at Chelsea that needs to be re-arranged due to Chelsea reaching the FA Cup semi-finals. They may also have a Europa League semi-final if they overcome Basel.
Spurs are currently third in the Premier League, two points ahead of Chelsea and four ahead of Arsenal, but they have played one more game than either of those two.
“Gareth will definitely play again this season,” Villas-Boas assured last night. “Tomorrow we will know better but I’m pretty confident. From the medical department’s first analysis, everything is positive.”
Villas-Boas disputed the claim that Spurs’ successful run-in depended on Bale’s availability.
“We’ve played without Bale before and we’ve got the results that we needed; that have put us in the position we are in the league, also,” Villas-Boas insisted. “We recognise the form the player is in and the problem is the squad will step up a level for his absence. Key players are always missed by any team but we have played without him before.”
Aaron Lennon and William Gallas also went off injured on a damaging night for Tottenham.
“Gallas might have a small tear on his calf, again there is an assessment to be done,” Villas-Boas said. “Lennon has a problem with his knee joint, hopefully it shouldn’t be too bad and let’s see if he can make the Everton game. These injuries are part of the season. They’re obviously big, big misses but we have a big squad and the possibility to adapt. [Clint] Dempsey’s back and [Lewis] Holtby had a very, very good game today.”