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Premier League

Andre Villas-Boas confirms Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen will be out for two to three weeks with ankle ligament injury

Central defender could miss the start of the season after he picks up injury in pre-season game played in heavy rain

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed that defender Jan Vertonghen has been ruled out for two to three weeks after he damaged ankle ligaments during their Barclays Asia Trophy on Tuesday.

The game was played in heavy rain, causing the pitch to tear up and a number of players lost their footing in Hong Kong.

Vertonghen was one of those players as he lipped during Spurs’ 3-1 defeat to Sunderland, and he now faces the prospect of missing the start of the season, with Tottenham set to face Crystal Palace in their opening Premier League game on August 18.

Villas-Boas was not happy that the game went ahead, having already seen a delay to kick-off and each half reduced to 40 minutes.

"The conditions are extremely poor but there is nothing we can do about it. We've lost one player through injury - and if I can be sincere I would prefer not to go ahead (with Saturday's game) but that's the reality.

"It’s our responsibility and if the authorities decide to go ahead, we will play the game."

Tottenham face South China on Saturday while Sunderland will face Manchester City, who emerged 1-0 winners over South china on Wednesday.