Ledley King set for surgery before Tottenham contract negotiations begin

 

Tottenham captain Ledley King will have another operation on his troublesome knee this week and then start negotiations with the club over prolonging his 14-year spell at White Hart Lane.

King's chronic knee injury has restricted him to 23 starts this season.

Although that represents a significant improvement on the nine appearances he made last season, when he was also troubled by a groin injury, the Spurs club captain's future is still shrouded in doubt.

The 31-year-old's contract expires this summer and the defender himself admits he has no idea whether this season will have been his last at the club he joined in 1998.

"Now the season is done I am sure there will be some talks," King said.

"To be honest, I am not entirely sure what's going on (in terms of a contract offer)

"I have just wanted to concentrate on trying to play and get my knee right."

King came through the youth ranks at White Hart Lane and then went on to establish himself as a fans' favourite after becoming a regular and reliable pillar in the Spurs defence.

Injury has prevented him from going on to fulfil his potential, however.

The Londoner barely trains with his team-mates due to a problem which causes his knee to balloon every time he plays. The problem is so severe that King has to apply huge ice packs to the area after exercise and he cannot even have a kickabout with his children.

After an encouraging start to the season, he ended up missing the club's last four games after taking a knock to his knee in training but hopes to be back to his best after his operation

"I will have a little clean out, maybe in the next couple of days," King added.

"It's something I had earlier in the season. I missed the first few games when I had an operation and hopefully it's not something serious.

"It is something I will have done and hopefully it won't set me back too much.

"I hope I will be able to have a good season with the knee cleared out."

Tottenham yesterday secured a fourth-place finish in the Barclays Premier League by beating Fulham 2-0, although they will be denied a place in the Champions League if Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on Saturday.

Having been within touching distance of the summit in January, many Spurs fans feel the club should have secured a top-three finish a long time ago, but King feels the players should still be proud of their season.

"Overall I think it has been a good campaign for us," King said. "Obviously we are disappointed to have fallen short of winning anything, but getting in the top four is a good achievement considering the number of top teams there are in the league.

"It's tough to go from where we were the season before to trying to win the league."

King admits Chelsea pinching the fourth qualifying position by beating Bayern would be a hard scenario for Spurs to stomach.

"It would be a little bit hard to take if that happens but we are aware of the rules and there is nothing we can do now," he said.

"Obviously you want English teams to do well but in this case you would be cheering for Bayern Munich. We hope they win."

Fulham, meanwhile, missed the chance to break their Premier League points tally thanks to strikes from Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe yesterday at White Hart Lane.

The Cottagers still have reason to be proud of their ninth-place finish, however, especially as they looked set for relegation after a slow start in Martin Jol's first season in charge.

"We really wanted to finish on a high and end the season in seventh place so I'm a little bit disappointed," impressive forward Mousa Dembele told Fulham's website.

"However, we've ended the season in ninth place and overall it's been a very good season."

PA

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