Tottenham face injury crisis in defence

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is facing up to the prospect of taking on one of the most feared attacks in world football with just two fit central defenders.

Just five days ahead of the club's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid, Spurs have been plunged into an injury crisis in defence.

Redknapp revealed today that club captain Ledley King requires a second operation on the groin problem that has kept him out of action since October, while William Gallas suffered a knee injury that could rule him out of Tuesday's game at the Bernabeu.

With Younes Kaboul out with a thigh strain and Jonathan Woodgate sidelined by a calf injury, Redknapp only has Michael Dawson and Sebastien Bassong fit to play at Wigan this weekend.

With the biggest match in the club's history against a Real Madrid team consisting of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema just around the corner, Redknapp admits his defensive troubles are a big concern to him.

"We started the year with six central defenders here. Now we have two," Redknapp told Sky Sports News.

"We have lost Ledley King, it looks like he will have to have an operation that will finish his season.

"Jonathan Woodgate was making good progress but got a calf injury in a friendly against Barnet and Younes Kaboul is still out with a thigh strain.

"William Gallas has been for a scan on his knee today. He struggled at the weekend and we are now down to having just Michael Dawson and Sebastien Bassong."

Redknapp is also desperately waiting to hear whether Gareth Bale will be fit for Tuesday's match in the Spanish capital.

The 21-year-old withdrew from Wales' squad to face England with a hamstring strain and is now a major doubt for the club's next two matches.

The Welshman, who has played a big part in getting Tottenham to the quarter-finals, had only just recovered from a back injury before picking up his latest knock.

Redknapp plans to leave a decision on whether the star winger will play until the last minute.

"Gareth worked with the fitness coaches and he looked OK this morning," Redknapp added.

"Whether he is OK to play two games this weekend is doubtful.

"We will have a look at that tomorrow and decide which way to go with it.

"We are going to leave it late. We'd love to have him fit but if he isn't fit then we can't play him."

The Spurs boss is confident that his side will be able to give Real a good match in Spain even if Bale does not play next week.

"We have other good players here who can play on the left," Redknapp said.

"Niko Kranjcar has just gone off and had a couple of games for Croatia. Steven Pienaar is fit now too."

There was better news for the club with regard to Aaron Lennon's fitness.

The winger pulled out of England's game against Ghana with a hamstring injury but Tottenham are confident that he will be fit for Saturday's game at the DW Stadium.

"Aaron is OK. He trained this morning. There isn't any problem with him," Redknapp said.

"He met up with England and stayed with them for 10 days, felt his hamstring was tight and we didn't want to risk him going so he pulled out of the squad."

Redknapp believes that the international break and the way that the fixtures have been set up for his side this weekend have left the club struggling to prepare for Tuesday's showdown with the nine-time European champions.

"We only had two senior players training last week. All the others came back this morning," Redknapp added.

"Five of them played 90 minutes on Tuesday night, Gallas went for a scan this morning. One or two of them have little niggles.

"It's a nightmare. You can't come out here this morning and start thinking about how we are going to beat Real Madrid because we have to play Wigan on Saturday.

"It's farcical. You play Saturday, you recover on Sunday. You're not going to have your XI ready on Sunday because you are going to have aches and pains and knocks.

"Then you travel to Madrid early Monday morning and you are not going to want to walk on to the pitch at the Bernabeu and start working on corners and set plays and shape because everyone will be looking at you.

"It's going to be very difficult to prepare for Real Madrid because Wigan are in the way."

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
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

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home