Harry Redknapp may return for Aston Villa clash

 

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is "optimistic" of returning to duty for Monday night's Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

Redknapp underwent an operation on a minor blockage in one of his arteries two weeks ago and has been recovering since.

The 64-year-old will consult medical opinion over the feasibility of resuming work, but assistant manager Joe Jordan expects to see him in the dug out at White Hart Lane.

"Hopefully he'll be back soon. It will depend on his conversation with the medical people who are giving him advice," said Jordan.

"He's feeling good and sounds good. There's a possibility he'd be back for the Villa game and maybe he'll pop in during the lead up to that match.

"He's very keen and is optimistic there's a chance of that happening."

Jordan insists that should Redknapp make his comeback on Monday, he will assume full control of team affairs.

The Spurs boss watched the tense 3-1 victory over Fulham on November 6 from home and Jordan believes it will have proved difficult viewing.

"If Harry comes to the game he'll be on the bench," he said.

"The experience in our last game against Fulham...I don't think it will have been too easy to watch the last 20 minutes on TV.

"If he's at the stadium why wouldn't he be on the bench making decisions and be involved?

"Against Fulham it would have been torture watching the game and not making substitutions or decisions. He will have suffered a lot more."

Jordan has revealed that contact with Redknapp has been kept to a minimum during his recovery.

"We've tried to avoid being on the phone to Harry constantly," he said.

"He had a warning and was told at a very early stage that this is what he must do. I spoke to him on the phone when he rang and sounds great.

"The last thing that he needs is for someone to be on the phone constantly. That has not been the case.

"When he's felt there is a need to make a call, which he has done to find out how things are going in training, then we answer and give him all the information.

"But he is wise enough to listen to the specialists and surgeons who did the operation, that is the most important thing.

"Harry is at an age where he has seen most, if not everything, in football so he knows how to handle the stresses that go with that.

"So when you get the little fright that happened to him, you listen to people who know better than you.

"He has taken two weeks off and that's why we are talking about the possibility of him coming back for the Villa game."

Holland midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has a chance of facing Villa as he attempts to recover from a hamstring injury.

Vedran Corluka is expected to be fit despite suffering from an ankle problem.

PA

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