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Spurs team news: Three Tottenham stars return for Arsenal FA Cup clash

14:38 03 January 2014

Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe

EMPICS Sport

Tim Sherwood says Jermain Defoe, Andros Townsend and Lewis Holtby are all back in contention to face Arsenal tomorrow, and he is also expecting Emmanuel Adebayor to be fit to take on his former club.

However, the head coach will not rush Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul back into action and does expect to be fielding the defensive duo for a while yet.

Spurs have been struggling with a crippling injury list which includes Sandro, Erik Lamela, Kyle Naughton, Paulinho, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul – but the head coach is pleased to see three players emerging from the treatment room ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup tie against the Gunners at the Emirates.

“Jermain trained today, Andros did too and Lewis Holtby also trained today so that was encouraging,” said Sherwood. “They are in contention.”

Adebayor was taken off on a stretcher during Spurs’ 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day, having scored the opening goal.

However, the Togo international tweeted yesterday that he had recovered and was “doing everything to be fit for Saturday”.

Sherwood joked: “That’s good news for me! It didn’t look great did it, when he came off on that stretcher, but he is a warrior. There is no holding him back at the moment.

“He got cramp in every part of his body and we weren’t sure what to rub and put ice on next. He was really struggling but the guys have given him some treatment and loving, which they were told to do, and I am sure it is going to be fine.

“I think if Arsene Wenger saw him limping off at Old Trafford, I’m sure there were a lot of pleased Arsenal fans and management and players, but unfortunately he’s going to be walking out against them tomorrow.”

There is less positive news regarding Vertonghen, who suffered an ankle injury at Fulham on December 4, and Kaboul, who has struggled with a succession of injuries and has been unable to maintain his fitness this season.

“They’re still not back training so it will be a while,” said Sherwood. “We don’t want to rush them because they have been out for a while.

“We need to make sure there is some strength and substance in their endurance before they come back because to rush them back now would be criminal for us.

“To lose them between now and the end of the season is not something we are looking to do. We will be very cautious in bringing them back.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

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