Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has given an injury update ahead of Saturday’s north London derby against Arsenal, and he could be without four first team regulars for the game.
Speaking at his weekly press conference on Thursday morning the Portuguese coach gave the latest on Mousa Dembele, Aaron Lennon, Jermaine Defoe and Kyle Walker – who are all injury doubts for the trip to the Emirates.
Villas-Boas confirmed that key midfielder Mousa Dembele is out of the game after failing to recover from a hip injury. The Belgian ace has been out since early October after aggravating the problem while on international duty and yet to return to training.
Dembele has been in excellent form since making the move from Fulham in the summer and his absence will be a huge blow to Spurs. Tom Huddlestone is expected to continue alongside Sandro in midfield.
AVB is also sweating on the fitness of Lennon, Walker and Defoe after the trio were ruled out of England’s friendly with Sweden on Wednesday with hamstring strains. All three trained separately on Wednesday and will face late tests but Villas-Boas is confident they have had enough time to recover in time to face Arsenal.
The Tottenham boss is quoted by talkSPORT as saying:
“They haven’t trained with the team yet,” said Villas-Boas. “They trained separately on Wednesday in a recovery session away from the team.
“We have to see how they return, see if there is any disturbance. Lennon had a scan on Wednesday and it’s fine on his hamstring. We have to wait and see. They have had quite enough time to rest and recover.
“Dembele will not be back for this game. There is a 50 per cent chance he will be ready to play Lazio on Thursday. At the moment surgery is out of the question – hopefully.”
With Scott Parker, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul all sidelined with long-term injuries, Tottenham could be without seven first team players if Lennon, Walker and Defoe join Dembele in missing the Arsenal game.
The news comes just hours after Arsenal received a triple injury boost in time to face their rivals this weekend.
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