Crocked King continues to check Spurs' ambitions

Ledley King still out but Jermain Defoe set to return for top four-chasing Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur captain Ledley King faces at least another fortnight on the sidelines nursing his thigh injury before returning to help the club's challenge for a Champions League place. The 29-year-old centre-back, who has taken the armband back since Robbie Keane's loan move to Celtic, has been out since picking up the problem in the victory at Wigan on 21 February.

While Jermain Defoe is set to return to the starting XI for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash against Blackburn, King is understood to be two weeks away from a possible comeback. He is an automatic choice for Spurs boss Harry Redknapp but cannot play matches in quick succession and rarely trains due to a chronic knee condition, which may also leave him prone to picking up other injuries.

Redknapp already has defender Jonathan Woodgate likely to miss the rest of the campaign, while Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Lennon and David Bentley are also in the treatment room as Spurs look to stay fourth in the table.

Defoe started on the bench at the weekend against Fulham due to a tight hamstring but he could return on Saturday. Also returning are Kyle Walker and Frenchman Younes Kaboul after being ineligible for the FA Cup draw at Craven Cottage. Kaboul has only started one game since returning to White Hart Lane from Portsmouth in January.

"It's good to have a lot of players because when there are a lot of games you can change things around," said the Frenchman. "Of course, only 11 can play so that means you have to fight every day in training to play at the weekend and I'm ready for that."

Kaboul, along with Michael Dawson and Sebastien Bassong, provide cover for King at centre-back but Redknapp will want his captain back before the middle of April, when Spurs play Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United in consecutive league matches.

Meanwhile, Spurs striker Robbie Keane, on loan at Celtic, is impressing his new manager Tony Mowbray, who is hoping the forward's motivation to succeed will rub off on his team-mates. The Republic of Ireland international showed why the Glasgow club are paying a reported £65,000 per week to borrow him from Tottenham with a brace at Falkirk on Sunday.

The Celtic manager, though, was as praiseworthy of Keane for his teamwork as much as his goals, which took his tally to five since joining in January. "Top players have that motivation in-bred," Mowbray said. "That's part and parcel of being a top player. For some of our younger players, hopefully it will rub off. They will see that, if you are going to play at the top level anywhere in the world – and Robbie has played all over the world – that is something which has got to come from within. It's not something you can switch on and off on match day.

"Another example would be Wayne Rooney. Whenever he plays, he runs around, tackles, chases and fights. That's driven from within, and I think Robbie wants to score goals, wants to help his team and his club. I was delighted with his performance on Sunday."

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
Voices
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
Sport
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas