Spurs boss sweating on midfielder’s fitness but Adebayor returns
Andre Villas-Boas is hoping that Jake Livermore can overcome an ankle injury sustained in last night’s cup defeat at Norwich and save him from another midfield headache.
Livermore was the victim of a heavy tackle from the Canaries’ David Fox in the first half at Carrow Road, and was replaced at half-time.
Villas-Boas is already missing Scott Parker and Mousa Dembele, while Tom Huddlestone is still attempting to find his best form after his own injury problems – and Spurs’ head coach is anxious not to lose another middle man ahead of Saturday’s home game against Wigan.
“His [Livermore’s] ankle swelled up a little bit so we have to wait for further news,” said Villas-Boas. “I think tomorrow will be a good day to assess it, with the possibility to make selection.
“He didn’t train with the team [today], so we have to give it at least 24 more hours to make further assessment.
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“If he doesn’t make it then it will be another injury to a midfield that is already missing Mousa Dembele, who is going to be out of the game too.
“What are Livermore’s chances of playing? I don’t know. He felt well today. He certainly still feels the impact of the boot. It was not a nasty challenge but a bad challenge, and hopefully he can be up for selection.”
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Emmanuel Adebayor is back in contention this weekend and Villas-Boas said: “He hasn’t played as much through injury - the biggest was his thigh. He was out for six games, from Reading to Villa. Then we lost him for two games recently.
“Whenever he came on he did well and he wants to be part of the team. But [Jermain] Defoe is doing well and we’ve gone eight games and he has five goals.
“That is the goalscoring ability that you want for your team. Ade is there too but has to be more patient at the moment - but I’m sure after these setbacks he can make a good run in the team too.”
Steven Caulker is also available to face the Latics, despite reports that he will be charged by Serbian Police following the brawl that broke out at the end of last month’s England Under-21s match in Krusevac.
“From what we’ve spoken about with the player, we don’t have enough information,” said Villas-Boas. “The Football Association doesn’t have enough information, although there is contact between the FA, government and the embassy in Serbia to try to find out more info.
“But the speculation that is coming out regarding the player, he will be ready to play and he obviously has a big chance.
“He has been doing quite well to make selection and to play, and I’m not worried yet of the consequence of what can happen.
“We are still waiting to find out more info, it’s not really enough more me or for the club to give a further position regarding what we think about the situation.
“I’m extremely happy with him [Caulker]. He is 20 years old and is doing extremely well, coping with the best strikers in the world - Fernando, Rooney, Van Persie.
“He’s done it in the past for Swansea but there is more pressure on results now and he is doing well. I think he can have a bright future.”
Meanwhile, Villas-Boas had a positive update on Parker’s gradual recovery from the Achilles injury which has ruled him out since the start of the season.
“There is a slight improvement, he is still inside but we have pushed him in terms of exercise on the treadmill,” said the head coach.
“He is still within the recovery time for this type of injury and we have time to allow the player to feel 100 per cent in order to get back on the pitch - and then it will be two or three weeks more to have him fully fit.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs