Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul suffers injury set-back

Kaboul is yet to play this season

Tottenham's bid for a top-four finish has taken a blow with the news that defender Younes Kaboul may not be fit until the end of February.

Kaboul emerged as arguably Tottenham's best centre-half after a series of confident displays last year, but he has not kicked a ball this term after suffering a knee injury in pre-season.

It had been hoped that the France centre-back would be fit for the start of 2013 but assistant manager Steffen Freund confirmed today that the 26-year-old could have to wait at least six weeks before he is available for selection.

"He's on a six-week programme from the medical staff and starting to work now with the fitness coaches," Freund told a press conference.

"It's difficult to say now which game he will be back but hopefully mid- or end of February."

Although Spurs sit fourth in the Barclays Premier League, Kaboul's confidence and leadership would help eradicate the problem of conceding late goals which has cost Andre Villas-Boas' men dearly this term.

Freund is therefore looking forward to having the Frenchman back in the ranks next month.

"He's a really important part of Tottenham," the German said.

"He has a lot of leadership qualities and we are waiting to have him back as quickly as possible.

"He is frustrated. He likes to be involved - especially when you are successful."

Freund did offer some good news from the treatment room, however.

Left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who has not played since September, is fit to start Saturday's FA Cup third-round clash against Coventry, Freund confirmed.

PA

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