Richards relieved as specialist allays brain tumour fear

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The Independent Football

The Tottenham Hotspur defender Dean Richards is looking forward to making a return to football after being told by a specialist that the chances of him having a brain tumour are "extremely low".

The Tottenham Hotspur defender Dean Richards is looking forward to making a return to football after being told by a specialist that the chances of him having a brain tumour are "extremely low".

Richards joined Spurs from Southampton in an £8.1m deal during September 2001, shortly after Glenn Hoddle took over at White Hart Lane. But he has not featured in the first team since last May, complaining of dizzy spells and tiredness after matches. Tests diagnosed an inner ear problem.

He returned to play for the reserves, but was then ruled out again by a calf injury two months ago. His first scans also revealed an "abnormality of the brain", which left the 30-year-old with an anxious wait for results of further tests. The news, though, was good.

"The report from the specialist confirmed that the likelihood of my having a brain tumour is extremely low," Richards said. "I remain very positive and will continue to carry out my duties as a Spurs player. I have been overwhelmed with messages of goodwill and would like to thank everyone for their support."

Richards's coach at Spurs, Martin Jol, had earlier in the day recalled the defender Calum Davenport from his loan at West Ham United. Davenport may make his debut against Aston Villa next Monday.

The Manchester City manager, Kevin Keegan, had contrasting news yesterday, with the midfielder Claudio Reyna feared out for up to a further eight weeks after a thigh injury flared up again on his comeback at the weekend.

The American returned from an eight-week absence after being injured as a substitute in City's match against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday only for the problem to reappear.

"Claudio has gone to see a specialist in Germany and I would say it will be a minimum of six to eight weeks that he will be out for," Keegan said. "The specialist in Germany has a record of getting players back quicker and what he tends to do seems to help an injured player heal quicker."

Furthermore, City's young defender Mikkel Bischoff will be out for three months. Bischoff has been on loan at Wolves and dislocated his shoulder during their win at Rotherham last weekend. Keegan's long-term injury list already includes Ben Thatcher, Sun Jihai, Trevor Sinclair and Joey Barton.

The Birmingham manager, Steve Bruce, has denied rumours that David Dunn's career could be over. Bruce spoke out after suggestions that the £5.5m midfielder's persistent hamstring problems were a major cause for concern.

Dunn could be included in the squad for Sunday's Premiership game against his former club Blackburn, and while Dunn may need surgery on his back during the summer, he insisted there was nothing more sinister than that to it.

"Dunn has had his problems with his hamstrings, but to make out he's finished is rubbish," Bruce said.

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