Tottenham manager welcomes 12-day rest to ease injury crisis

HARRY Redknapp admits that Spurs’ 12-day break has come at a welcome point in the season as he counts the cost of a mounting injury list.

Having played 10 games in six weeks between December 26 and February 5, Tottenham are now enjoying a leisurely run of fixtures and – having had a full week to prepare for Tuesday’s trip to Blackpool – do not play again until next Sunday, March 6.

That is just as well, says Redknapp, who travelled to Bloomfield Road without Rafael van der Vaart, Gareth Bale, Younes Kaboul, Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King, Vedran Corluka, Alan Hutton and Tom Huddlestone.

“We don’t play again for a while,” said the Spurs boss. “We were supposed to play Arsenal this weekend but they have the Carling Cup final so that was called off, and it gives us a break. We play Wolves away next Sunday, then AC Milan at home.

“It gives us a bit of time to hopefully get one or two players back in the squad.Younes Kaboul and people like that will start getting closer.

“The back four is the biggest problem. Hutton is out and William Gallas is playing right-back. There are no other defenders at the club, there’s no-one else spare defensively. I’ve had four defenders for four positions this week.”

While Redknapp does not expect to have Huddlestone or Corluka available for the trip to Wolves next weekend, he will be keeping a keen eye on Woodgate, King and Bale – and is hopeful that Van der Vaart will return to the squad.

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“Ledley has had his operation done and is back doing some running – he’s working outside with the fitness coaches,” Redknapp reported.

“Jonathan got a little bit of a setback in Milan – he got a twinge and we felt it was pretty bad at first but it isn’t too bad. He’s working his way back and, in another week or so, he should be back into full training. Gareth is improving slowly and shouldn’t be too long.

“Rafa did his calf again in training on Sunday, he’s had a bit of a problem with that. He missed a couple of games, came back and played in Milan and got through 60 to 70 minutes there, and then didn’t feel good in training this week.

“It’s a blow because he’s a fantastic player. We need him but we can’t get that run of games out of him. When he has played he has been great for us.

“He missed the pre-season for us, that was the problem. After the World Cup, he missed getting that pre-season behind him and he’s had a problem with niggly injuries since, but hopefully he won’t be out for too long.

“I’m hoping he will be back for the Wolves game on the Sunday. We’ll have to wait and see but he should be okay. It’s not a tear, he just felt it tighten up again so we have to make sure it’s okay.”