Tag Archives: injury

Jack Wilshere set to miss England games against Republic of Ireland and Brazil

Wilshere blow for England as Arsenal star faces end-of-season op

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

07:29 GMT, 21 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:45 GMT, 21 April 2013

Roy Hodgson is set to be dealt an injury blow with the news that Jack Wilshere could miss both of England's internationals this summer.

The Arsenal star, who came of the bench for the remaining 19 minutes of his side's 1-0 win at Fulham yesterday, is poised to undergo surgery at the end of the season.

Doubt: Jack Wilshere is expected to be unavailable for England's games against Republic of Ireland and Brazil

Doubt: Jack Wilshere is expected to be unavailable for England's games against Republic of Ireland and Brazil

BABY LOVE

Wilshere is set to become a dad for the second time later this year. The Arsenal midfielder's partner, Lauren Neal, is expecting in October.

Wilshere has only recently returned to first-team action after a six-week injury lay-off.

And according to the Sunday Mirror, the 21-year-old may now require surgery to replace a pin inserted into his ankle during an operation in 2011.

That would leave Roy Hodgson without Wilshere for the friendlies against Republic of Ireland on May 29 and June 2.

Foul: Steve Sidwell was dismissed for this dangerous tackle on Mikel Arteta

Foul: Steve Sidwell was dismissed for this dangerous tackle on Mikel Arteta

Foul: Steve Sidwell was dismissed for this dangerous tackle on Mikel Arteta

Arsene Wenger meanwhile has blasted Steve Sidwell for the reckless tackle which earned him a red card in Arsenal's vital win over Fulham.

Sidwell will miss Fulham's last four games of the season after he saw red for the second time in two appearances.

The former Arsenal midfielder, who was given a straight red for a dangerous tackle on QPR defender Armand Traore three weeks ago, caught Mikel Arteta on his standing foot with a two-footed lunge just 12 minutes in to this afternoon's London derby at Craven Cottage.

Wenger also ended the game with 10 men after Olivier Giroud caught Stanislav Manolev with a last-minute lunge.

The Gunners boss had no qualms with Giroud's sending off, and that of Sidwell, which he thinks could have caused serious injury to Arteta had it happened a millisecond earlier.

'I think the referee could only give a red card (to Sidwell),' the Arsenal manager said.

'We will see (if Arteta is OK). He played the second-half. I don't know how much damage is done. It is a kick, a bad kick.

'I don't know if he has twisted his ankle or not. In these kind of things it is a question of a fraction of a second.

'If you are fully on your foot at the moment you get it you break your leg. If you ease a bit off maybe that is why he got away with it.'

ATP Monte Carlo Masters – Rafael Nadal beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic beats Fabio Fognini in semis

Serving up a classic Djokovic and Nadal to meet in mouthwatering Monte Carlo final

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

17:40 GMT, 20 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:01 GMT, 20 April 2013

Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal will lock horns with world No 1 Novak Djokovic for third time in the Monte Carlo Masters final after both sailed through their semi-finals with relative ease on Saturday.

Nadal was given a fight by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before the Spaniard won 6-3, 7-6 but Djokovic was dominant in a 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of Italian showman Fabio Fognini.

Former world No 1 Nadal, looking for his fourth title of the year in only his fifth event since returning from a long-standing knee injury, clinched a 46th consecutive victory at the traditional clay court event alongside the Mediterranean.

Winning run: Rafael Nadal beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets in his semi-final

Winning run: Rafael Nadal beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets in his semi-final

Serving up a classic: Nadal will play Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday in Monte Carlo

Serving up a classic: Nadal will play Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday in Monte Carlo

The final against Djokovic will give a further measure of Nadal’s physical condition as he eyes the French Open, especially as the Serb is showing no sign of being worried by the ankle he twisted while on Davis Cup duty two weeks ago.

‘It’s fantastic to be in a fifth final in a row after seven months out,’ Nadal said. ‘Novak always pushes you to the limits.’

Djokovic, who has branded Nadal ‘the ultimate challenge on clay’, will hope to improve on his previous Monte Carlo finals against Nadal. He was beaten 6-3, 6-1 in the final last year and in three sets in 2009.

Looking to the heavens: Nadal beat the Frenchman Tsonga 6-3, 7-6

Looking to the heavens: Nadal beat the Frenchman Tsonga 6-3, 7-6

Smashing effort: Tsonga put up a fight in the second set but couldn't force a decider

Smashing effort: Tsonga put up a fight in the second set but couldn't force a decider

‘I will have to be at the top of my game. I’m ready for it. I know what I need to do,’ said Djokovic, who was pleased to have spent only 52 minutes on the court.

‘I had enough tests already this week so I’m happy I can be fresh,’ said the Serb, who was pushed to three sets in his first two matches.

Nadal set up a 16th tournament final against Djokovic despite a wobble from 5-1 up in the second set when Tsonga produced a late surge to make a match of it. Neither the cold wind gusting off the sea, nor the inconsistent Tsonga managed to upset a solid Nadal, who has made the Centre Court stage his own since 2005.

Drubbing: Novak Djokovic beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-1 in his semi-final in Monte Carlo

Drubbing: Novak Djokovic beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-1 in his semi-final in Monte Carlo

Drubbing: Novak Djokovic beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-1 in his semi-final in Monte Carlo

Sixth seed Tsonga made too many mistakes from the baseline as Nadal took a stranglehold on the match. However, a change of tactics when he began charging the net briefly unsettled Nadal to the delight of the previously subdued French crowd.

He attacked in waves and saved four match points to force a tie-break before running out off steam and allowing Nadal to take the match and avoid a third set.

Fognini played some crowd-pleasing winners against Djokovic but was no match for the ruthless Serb who was in no mood to mess around on the centre court.

The 32nd-ranked Italian, who has enjoyed a huge support this week at a stadium located just kilometres away from his home, offered little fight and was booed off court after only 50 minutes by the restless crowd.

Charlton 2 Wolves 1 – match report: Jonathan Obika scores late winner

Charlton 2 Wolves 1: Last-gasp Obika sends Saunders' side back into drop zone

PUBLISHED:

16:36 GMT, 20 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:10 GMT, 20 April 2013

Wolves dropped back into the npower Championship relegation places after substitute Jonathan Obika's late winner snatched in-form Charlton a 2-1 home victory.

Karl Henry struck the bar with a long-range effort in a cagey first half before the game burst into life thanks to Dorian Dervite's opener.

Kevin Doyle equalised for the visitors just three minutes later with his 11th goal of the campaign but Dean Saunders' men were unable to hold on to a crucial point with Obika having the final say.

Late but great: Jonathan Obika scored an injury-time winner to earn three points for Charlton against Wolves

Late but great: Jonathan Obika scored an injury-time winner to earn three points for Charlton against Wolves

Late but great: Jonathan Obika scored an injury-time winner to earn three points for Charlton against Wolves

MATCH FACTS

Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Wiggins, Morrison, Dervite, Pritchard, Harriott, Hughes (Gower 12), Jackson (Green 61), Kermorgant, Fuller (Obika 81). Subs Not Used: Button, Taylor, Kerkar, Wilson.

Goals: Dervite 63, Obika 90.

Wolves: De Vries, Doherty, Gorkss, Johnson,
Ward (Batth 90), Henry, Robinson, Doumbia, Hunt (Hammill 86), Doyle, Sigurdarson. Subs Not Used: McCarey, Dicko, Foley, Cassidy, McAlinden.

Booked: Gorkss, Doherty, Sigurdarson, Hunt.

Goals: Doyle 66.

Att: 19,023.

Ref: Roger East (Wiltshire).

Latest Championship table and results

No Championship team had taken more
points from their last eight matches than the two sides ahead of the
game meaning neither manager felt the need to make changes to their
starting line-ups.

The hosts were presented with the
first clear-cut opportunity of the afternoon in the 10th minute after
good work from Callum Harriott but Ricardo Fuller saw his drilled effort
on the turn parried away by Dorus De Vries.

The Addicks were forced into a change
just two minutes later with Mark Gower replacing the injured Andy
Hughes and lost some of their early fluency against their hard-working
visitors.

Saunders' side almost earned reward
for their efforts in the 25th minute when Henry let fly from distance.

The midfielder's speculative effort had Ben Hamer backpedalling and hit
the bar before Hamer managed to prevent the ball crossing the line.

Challenge: Charlton's Ricardo Fuller (left) and Wolves' Matt Doherty (right) compete for the ball

Challenge: Charlton's Ricardo Fuller (left) and Wolves' Matt Doherty (right) compete for the ball

CHAMPIONSHIP – AS IT STANDS

Championship

The away side emerged for the second
half with added purpose and had an early sight of goal when Stephen Hunt
fired a cross-shot wide of the left-hand post. Chris Powell's men then
suffered a set back when they were forced into their second change of
the afternoon with captain Johnnie Jackson limping off.

Jackson's replacement Danny Green
made an immediate impact when his rasping drive was deflected wide. From
Green's subsequent corner, Wolves failed to clear and Dervite got the
decisive touch on a goalline scramble to poke home the opener.

The hosts' advantage did not last
long however as Doyle flicked in Jack Robinson's left-hand cross to set
up a breathless final quarter of the game.

With the encounter perfectly poised,
the visitors needed an important save from De Vries to keep the scores
level as Yann Kermorgant saw his effort from an acute angle tipped over
the bar.

The home side were not to be denied
as Green's deflected shot feel to Obika who struck in the 90th minute to
leave Saunders' side shellshocked.

Charlton were able to see the game
out to secure a fourth consecutive home win which keeps their distant
play-off hopes alive but Wolves now have just two games remaining to
ensure they do not fall into the third tier of English football.

Borussia Dortmund 3 Malaga 2 (agg 3-2) – match report

Dortmund 3 Malaga 2 (agg 3-2): Klopp's side complete stunning comeback with injury- time double

PUBLISHED:

20:41 GMT, 9 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:04 GMT, 10 April 2013

Borussia Dortmund came back from the dead to book their place in the semi-finals of the Champions League with a quite unbelievable victory over Malaga at Signal Iduna Park.

The German side's run in the competition appeared to be as good as over after Eliseu's strike in the 82nd minute made it 2-1 to Malaga and left the hosts needing two goals to progress after last week's first leg ended goalless.

Marco Reus breathed life into Jurgen Klopp's side with a close-range finish in the first minute of stoppage time but there was even greater drama to come as Dortmund pressed on in search of a third goal, which duly arrived with seconds remaining as Felipe Santana scrambled home.

Back from the brink: Borussia Dortmund completed a stunning comeback with two goals in injury time

Back from the brink: Borussia Dortmund completed a stunning comeback with two goals in injury time

Jubilation: Dortmund players celebrate their remarkable win

Jubilation: Dortmund players celebrate their remarkable win

Bundle: The German side looked dead and buried when Eliseu put Malaga 2-1 ahead with eight minutes left

Bundle: The German side looked dead and buried when Eliseu put Malaga 2-1 ahead with eight minutes left

Gutted: Malaga's Antunes shows his dejection as Dortmund fans celebrate

Gutted: Malaga's Antunes shows his dejection as Dortmund fans celebrate

Hero: Winning goalscorer Felipe Santana

Hero: Winning goalscorer Felipe Santana

Give me a hug! Jurgen Klopp and Santana

Give me a hug! Jurgen Klopp and Santana

Stunning: Dortmund fans unveiled this spectacular banner ahead of kick off

Stunning: Dortmund fans unveiled this spectacular banner ahead of kick off

Magnificent: The message on the banner read: 'On the trail of the lost cup'

Magnificent: The message on the banner read: 'On the trail of the lost cup'

MATCH FACTS

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Subotic, Felipe Santana, Schmelzer, Gundogan (Hummels 86), Bender (Sahin 72), Blaszcykowski (Schieber 72), Gotze, Reus,
Lewandowski. Subs Not Used: Langerak, Kehl, Leitner, Grosskreutz.

Booked: Bender, Schmelzer.

Goals: Lewandowski 40, Felipe Santana 90, Reus 90.

Malaga: Willy, Jesus Gamez, Demichelis, Sergio Sanchez, Antunes, Joaquin (Francisco Portillo 87), Toulalan, Camacho, Duda (Eliseu 74), Isco, Julio Baptista (Santa Cruz 83). Subs Not Used: Kameni, Lugano, Saviola, Piazon.

Booked: Jesus Gamez, Toulalan.

Goals: Joaquin 25, Eliseu 82.

Att: 65,000

Ref: Craig Thomson (Scotland).

Joaquin's 25th-minute opener for
Manuel Pellegrini's visitors was cancelled out by Robert Lewandowski's
superbly crafted goal five minutes before the break, but that was mere
prelude to the drama – and acrimony – that was to come after the break.

Both Eliseu's strike for Malaga and
Santana's third for Dortmund should both have been ruled out for
offside, as the officiating team led by Scotland's Craig Thomson ensured
this memorable contest would also be tainted by controversy.

Dortmund's players and fans will
probably not lose too much sleep over the shortcomings of the officials,
with the frenzied delight of the home contingent starkly contrasted by
Malaga's crestfallen players, who as the final whistle blew clearly were
struggling to comprehend how they had been turned over.

A nervy opening was perhaps
understandable with so much riding on the result, and it took until the
16th minute for the first effort on goal to arrive as Lewandowski sent a
chipped effort sailing over the bar.

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany

After failing to produce a shot on
target in the first quarter of the match, Malaga went ahead courtesy of
their first meaningful attack.

Julio Baptista started the move with a
pass into Joaquin, who exchanged passes with Isco before selling his
marker a dummy and sending a low finish into the left corner.

Reus saw a shot charged down in the
37th minute as Dortmund searched for a way back, but the home fans did
not have much longer to wait for the breakthrough as the hosts conjured a
goal of real class five minutes before the break.

Away goals advantage: Joaquin's strike left Dortmund needing to score twice to advance

Away goals advantage: Joaquin's strike left Dortmund needing to score twice to advance

Mario Gotze's incisive forward pass
was backheeled beyond the Malaga backline by Reus into the path of
Lewandowski, who expertly dinked the ball over the sprawling Willy
Caballero before tucking the ball home under pressure from Jesus Gamez.

The second half began with a bang with both sides going close to adding to the scoring inside three minutes.

First Lewandowski was afforded time to
take aim from the edge of the area but Caballero got down to save,
while two minutes later Roman Weidenfeller produced a fine reflex stop
to deflect away Joaquin's downward header.

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Leading from the front: Lewandowski celebrates his goal at Signal Iduna Park

Leading from the front: Lewandowski celebrates his goal at Signal Iduna Park

The hosts were given a let-off when
Marcel Schmelzer appeared to raise his hands to the face of Gamez amid a
tussle by the touchline, but rather inexplicably it was the Malaga man
who went into the referee's book.

The home fans were on their feet in
the 75th minute ready to acclaim a goal as the unmarked Reus looked to
turn home a low centre from six yards but Caballero's trailing leg was
in the right place as the Malaga number one made a wonderful save.

Caballero was again the hero for the
visitors in the 79th minute as Gotze was played clean through but the
goalkeeper flicked out a leg to deflect the ball inches wide of the
post.

Caballero's heroics looked set to be
the cornerstone of a famous win when three minute later Malaga went 2-1
up as Baptista's goalbound shot was turned home by Eliseu from almost on
the goalline, despite the substitute having strayed offside.

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

No way back Eliseu left the German side needing to score two more goals in the closing minutes

The match appeared to be destined to
end in Malaga's favour as added time arrived, but all that changed when
Dortmund were awarded a free-kick 40 yards from goal.

Caballero was helpless to deny
Dortmund yet again as woeful defending from the set-piece saw the ball
break to Reus to fire in from close range.

The hosts still needed a goal to progress to the last four, and incredibly it arrived in the third minute of added time.

The officials failed to spot three
Dortmund players in offside positions when the ball was launched into
the area, but when the ball broke to Santana – also in an offside
position on the goal-line – he had no hesitation in blasting home to
trigger scenes of disbelieving delight at Signal Iduna Park.

Turnaround: Santana bundled home a winner from close range in injury time for Dortmund

Turnaround: Santana bundled home a winner from close range in injury time for Dortmund

Dubious: Santana was arguably offside when he scored from less than one yard

Dubious: Santana was arguably offside when he scored from less than one yard

Dortmund

Delight: Santana runs off in celebration of his dramatic winner

Delight: Santana runs off in celebration of his dramatic winner

Pitch invasion: Dortmund head coach Klopp leaps with delight at the final whistle

Pitch invasion: Dortmund head coach Klopp leaps with delight at the final whistle

Joy: Santana is congratulated by Dortmund players and head coach Klopp

Joy: Santana is congratulated by Dortmund players and head coach Klopp

PS – Sorry Jurgen, your comeback doesn't beat the 1999 final

Dortmund's stunning comeback was thrilling, but it can't hold a flame to the famous night in Barcelona when Manchester United yanked the Champions League trophy out of Bayern Munich's hands at the death.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side were facing defeat in the face after Mario Basler's sixth-minute free-kick kept the sides apart until the final moments, when Teddy Sheringham swept home in the 91st minute followed two minutes later by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

History boys: Manchester United's triumph over Bayern Munich cannot be beaten for late drama

History boys: Manchester United's triumph over Bayern Munich cannot be beaten for late drama

History boys: Manchester United's triumph over Bayern Munich cannot be beaten for late drama

History boys: Manchester United's triumph over Bayern Munich cannot be beaten for late drama

History boys: Manchester United's triumph over Bayern Munich cannot be beaten for late drama

Dortmund 3 Malaga 2 (agg 3-2) – match report

Dortmund 3 Malaga 2 (agg 3-2): Klopp's side complete stunning comeback with injury- time double

PUBLISHED:

20:41 GMT, 9 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:11 GMT, 9 April 2013

Borussia Dortmund scored two goals in injury-time to complete a stunning 3-2 comeback win against Malaga and advance to the Champions League semi-finals.

Joaquin put the visitors ahead in the 25th minute but Polish striker Robert Lewandowski brought the Germans level five minutes before the break.

Jurgen Klopp's side threw everything they had at the Spanish side in an attempt to score a second goal that would sent them through.

But Dortmund left themselves exposed at the back and Eliseu looked to have sent Malaga into the semi-finals when he turned the ball home to put his team 2-1 ahead with eight minutes to play.

However, Marco Reus and Felipe Santana both scored in injury time as Jurgen Klopp's men pulled off an incredible turnaround and book their place in the last four.

More to follow

Back from the brink: Borussia Dortmund completed a stunning comeback with two goals in injury time

Back from the brink: Borussia Dortmund completed a stunning comeback with two goals in injury time

MATCH FACTS

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Subotic, Felipe Santana, Schmelzer, Gundogan (Hummels 86), Bender (Sahin 72), Blaszcykowski (Schieber 72), Gotze, Reus,
Lewandowski.

Subs Not Used: Langerak, Kehl, Leitner, Grosskreutz.

Booked: Bender, Schmelzer.

Goals: Lewandowski 40, Felipe Santana 90, Reus 90.

Malaga: Willy, Jesus Gamez, Demichelis, Sergio Sanchez, Antunes, Joaquin (Francisco Portillo 87), Toulalan, Camacho, Duda (Eliseu 74), Isco, Julio Baptista (Santa Cruz 83).

Subs Not Used: Kameni, Lugano, Saviola, Piazon.

Booked: Jesus Gamez, Toulalan.

Goals: Joaquin 25, Eliseu 82.

Att: 65,000

Ref: Craig Thomson (Scotland).

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany


Away goals advantage: Joaquin's strike left Dortmund needing to score twice to advance

Away goals advantage: Joaquin's strike left Dortmund needing to score twice to advance

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Leading from the front: Lewandowski celebrates his goal at Signal Iduna Park

Leading from the front: Lewandowski celebrates his goal at Signal Iduna Park

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

No way back Eliseu left the German side needing to score two more goals in the closing minutes

No way back Eliseu left the German side needing to score two more goals in the closing minutes

Turnaround: Felipe Santana bundled home a winner from close range in injury time for Dortmund

Turnaround: Felipe Santana bundled home a winner from close range in injury time for Dortmund

Dubious: Santana was arguably offside when he scored from less than one yard

Dubious: Santana was arguably offside when he scored from less than one yard

Dortmund

Delight: Santana runs off in celebration of his dramatic winner

Delight: Santana runs off in celebration of his dramatic winner

Pitch invasion: Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp leaps with delight at the final whistle

Pitch invasion: Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp leaps with delight at the final whistle

Joy: Santana is congratulated by Dortmund players and head coach Klopp

Joy: Santana is congratulated by Dortmund players and head coach Klopp

Gareth Bale injury latest: Tottenham to use blood-spinning technique to speed up Welshman"s return

Spurs banking on blood-spinning remedy to get star man Bale back in double-quick time

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

22:02 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:41 GMT, 9 April 2013

RACE FOR TOP FOUR – AS IT STANDS

TOP FOUR

Click HERE for the full Premier League table

Tottenham are putting their faith in the once controversial blood-spinning technique to speed up Gareth Bale's recovery from an ankle injury.

Bale's season looked to be over last Thursday after the Welshman sustained a serious looking ankle injury in Spurs' 2-2 draw against Basle.

But after a scan on Friday, it emerged
that Bale would only miss two games – Sunday's 2-2 draw against Everton
and the Europa League quarter-final second leg clash in Switzerland on
Thursday night.

Scroll down for Premier League highlights

Scare: Gareth Bale was stretchered off against Basle at White Hart Lane

Scare: Gareth Bale was stretchered off against Basle at White Hart Lane

Crucial: Bale has scored 17 league goals for Tottenham this season

Crucial: Bale has scored 17 league goals for Tottenham this season

Manager Andre Villas-Boas is understandably keen to have Bale fit again as quickly as possible and club doctors will use the blood-spinning method to aid his recovery from injury as Tottenham look to get their star man back on the field for the visit of Manchester City on April 21.

The technique, which was also used on Jermain Defoe earlier in the season as he struggled to overcome a pelvic injury, involves a small sample of a person's blood being injected out of the body before it is spun to increase the concentration of the growth hormone.

The blood sample is then injected into the athlete's problem area which can help an injury heal five times faster.

Blood-spinning first came under the spotlight in 2005 when Chelsea, then managed by Jose Mourinho, were warned by the World Anti-Doping Agency that their use of the method to speed up Arjen Robben's recovery from injury may be illegal – but it is now more commonly used in sport.

Meanwhile, there was better news on the injury front for Tottenham on Monday night as Younes Kaboul made his long-awaited return from a knee injury.

The French defender has not played since the opening-day defeat by Newcastle, but he is on course to play a part in Spurs' crucial Premier League run-in after making his return to action against West Ham Under 21s on Monday.

Back: Younes Kaboul (right) made his long-awaited return from injury on Monday night

Back: Younes Kaboul (right) made his long-awaited return from injury on Monday night

VIDEO: Watch highlights of Tottenham's 2-2 draw against Everton

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Lionel Messi sidelined for at least one game after limping out of Barcelona Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain

Messi faces rare spell on the sidelines.. but Barcelona are better off in Europe without their star man!

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

10:17 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:15 GMT, 3 April 2013

It's a sight that has been thankfully rare over the years for Barcelona fans and the millions who appreciate his genius.

But Lionel Messi is facing a spell on the sidelines of up to three weeks after being substituted at half-time during last night's Champions League tie in Paris with a hamstring injury.

The club have confirmed that he has a thigh injury and will miss Saturday's match at home to Real Mallorca at the very least. Messi even took to his Facebook page to confirm his knock isn't as bad as first feared.

Scroll down for video

Allaying fears: Messi posted this picture on his Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon, saying his hamstring injury was not as serious as first thought

Allaying fears: Messi posted this picture on his Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon, saying his hamstring injury was not as serious as first thought

Check up: Messi is accompanied by defender Jordi Alba as he walks to the medical centre at Barcelona's training ground. Initial scans on his hamstring injury suggest the damage isn't as bad as first feared

Check up: Messi is accompanied by defender Jordi Alba as he walks to the medical centre at Barcelona's training ground. Initial scans on his hamstring injury suggest the damage isn't as bad as first feared

Lionel Messi has his hamstring injury assessed at Barcelona's training ground

Rare injury blow: Lionel Messi (second left) watched the second half of Barcelona's 2-2 draw with PSG after suffering a hamstring injury

Rare injury blow: Lionel Messi (second left) watched the second half of Barcelona's 2-2 draw with PSG after suffering a hamstring injury

Deadly: Before going off, Messi opened the scoring with his 57th goal of the season

Deadly: Before going off, Messi opened the scoring with his 57th goal of the season

MESSI'S APPEARANCES

Goals scored in brackets

2004-2005: 9 (1)
2005-2006: 25 (8)
2006-2007: 36 (17)
2007-2008: 40 (16)
2008-2009: 51 (38)
2009-2010: 53 (47)
2010-2011: 55 (53)
2011-2012: 60 (73)
2012-2013: 45 (57)

Depending on his recovery, it could also
see him absent from the return with PSG next week and subsequent La
Liga matches that will see Barca secure the title.

For someone who is always target No 1 for brutish defenders, Lionel Messi is astonishingly resilient.

His untouchable scoring record and long list of accolades are testament not only to his brilliance but a good injury record.

In fact this season, the 25-year-old has played 3,193 of a possible 3,420 minutes in the league and Champions League – meaning he's missed just 227 minutes of action in these competitions.

Representing a club inevitably involved to the business end of competitions, Messi is used to playing in excess of 50 matches a season for Barcelona and up to a dozen more for Argentina.

Whereas other star players, particularly in the Premier League, are rested or rotated for less important games, Messi is as likely to start against Granada and Getafe than he is against Real Madrid.

But the physical toll rarely shows on his body, with the Argentine suffering only four injury lay-offs of note over his career.

Concern: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova talks to Messi during last night's quarter-final, first leg

Concern: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova talks to Messi during last night's quarter-final, first leg

Bloodied: Messi took a knock to the knee, which led to him being taken off at half-time

Bloodied: Messi took a knock to the knee, which led to him being taken off at half-time

Pain: Messi grabs the back of his right leg during the match at the Parc des Princes

Pain: Messi grabs the back of his right leg during the match at the Parc des Princes

Before last night, he had not had a muscle injury for three-and-a-half years, when a calf problem ruled him out of a Champions League tie with Inter Milan and a league Clasico with Real in November 2009.

He was an unused substitute in the Inter tie as Pep Guardiola decided not to risk him.

He missed league games against Sporting Gijon and Athletic Bilbao in September 2010 with a stretched ligament, but returned for a trip to Russia to play Rubin Kazan the following week.

Prior to that, you have to go back to the 2007-2008 season when a 20-year-old Messi missed about 10 weeks of the season with a couple of injury scares.

Source: Opta

Source: Opta

Source: Opta

Source: Opta

While Barcelona's quarter-final tie with PSG is delicately poised at 2-2, Messi's team-mates won't be too concerned by his absence.

The statistics show that, in Champions League games since Messi broke into the first team in 2004, they have won 71 per cent of matches without him and just 56 per cent of games when he's been rested or injured.

This is probably explained by Barcelona's run to the trophy in 2006, when Messi played just six of the club's 13 games.

Golden Balls: Messi, four time Ballon D'Or winner, shakes hands with David Beckham before the match

Golden Balls: Messi, four time Ballon D'Or winner, shakes hands with David Beckham before the match

By contrast, in La Liga, Barcelona have won 76 per cent of games since 2004 with him in the team.

But when Messi is absent, they have won only half.

The injury will bring to an end his record run of scoring in 19 consecutive league games. His first-half goal against PSG also drew him level with Cristiano Ronaldo and Galatasaray's Burak Yilmaz as top scorer in the Champions League with eight goals.

In addition, defender Javier Mascherano was taken off on a stretcher after 84 minutes with a knee injury and will be missing for 'four to six weeks' according to Barca coach Jordi Roura.

Injury worry: Messi's compatriot Javier Mascherano was stretchered off late in the game

Injury worry: Messi's compatriot Javier Mascherano was stretchered off late in the game

Messi's absence turns the spotlight on Barcelona's misfiring strike force.

Spain's David Villa and Pedro, Chile's Alexis Sanchez, and midfielder-cum-forward Cesc Fabregas have managed only three goals between them in Europe, trailing way behind Messi, the Champions League's leading scorer for the the last four seasons in a row.

Sanchez is clearly lacking in confidence, as was seen with two poorly-taken chances on Tuesday, though he did win the penalty for Xavi to put Barca 2-1 up near the end.

Misfiring: Barcelona will rely on the out-of-form Alexis Sanchez for the second leg next week

Misfiring: Barcelona will rely on the out-of-form Alexis Sanchez for the second leg next week

Villa has failed to recover his consistency and sharpness since breaking his leg at the Club World Cup in December 2011, and Fabregas has been short of form in recent weeks.

Pedro, who was suspended on Tuesday, should have recovered from a calf injury for the second leg, but has yet to get off the mark in the Champions League this season.

Cristian Tello is another option. The little-used, young winger scored one and set up the second for Messi in their 2-2 draw at Real Zaragoza in La Liga last Saturday, and brings a directness and pace to an attack that at times lacks a cutting edge.

He has scored one goal in the Champions League this season.

Beckham pleased with draw against Barcelona

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Jermain Defoe injured: Ruled out of Tottenham"s next three matches

Defoe blow for Tottenham as injury rules striker out of next three matches

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

12:39 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:03 GMT, 3 April 2013

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has suffered a muscle injury which will keep him out of the club's next three matches.

It's a massive blow for Andre Villas-Boas's side who are fighting for a place in next season's Champions League and face FC Basle on Thursday night in the Europa League quarter-final first leg.

Defoe – who has 14 goals for Spurs this season – will miss the home-and-away legs against Basle and a crunch Barclays Premier League match with Everton at White Hart Lane.

No go Defoe: The Spurs striker has been ruled out of the next three matches

No go Defoe: The Spurs striker has been ruled out of the next three matches

Next up for Tottenham…

FC Basle (home, tomorrow, Europa League)
Everton ( home, Sunday, Premier League)
FC Basle (away, April 11, Europa League)
Man City (home, April 21, Premier League)

The north London club have a tough run-in of fixtures, but Villas-Boas is hopeful Defoe will return in time for the clash with defending champions Manchester City on April 21.

The Spurs boss said: 'Jermain has a
muscle injury and that’s probably going to take him out for the next two
games and maybe Basle away.

Coming to Spurs' Ade: The Togolese striker is one option to lead the line

Coming to Spurs' Ade: The Togolese striker is one option to lead the line

Coming to Spurs' Ade: The Togolese striker is one option to lead the line

'If he can’t make Basle away he should be fit for the week that we prepare to play Manchester City. It’s a big blow. It’s the same muscle he had a small tear in last month, but it’s the other side (pelvic injury).

'It’s a big miss for us because he’s a player who represents a lot for us and he’s showed tremendous quality this season.

'You’ve seen us play with (Clint) Dempsey and (Gareth) Bale up front. We have been in periods where are strikers have been injured and we’ve coped with it – sometimes less successfully, sometimes more so.

'We’ll definitely have him back for the Man City game, so the negative of having an injury is not that bad.

'We’ll have the player back for the decisive moments of the season.

'He probably did it through a shooting exercise we set out prior to playing Swansea.’

Hair we go: Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Tottenham face FC Basle in the Europa League on Thursday night

Hair we go: Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Tottenham face FC Basle in the Europa League on Thursday night

Roberto Mancini praises Vincent Kompany as Manchester City thrash Newcastle

Kompany is key for City: Mancini pleased to have his captain back from injury

By
Simon Stone, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

21:02 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:02 GMT, 30 March 2013

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini hailed the influence of captain courageous Vincent Kompany after the Blues romped to their biggest Premier League win since November.

On his first appearance after two months out with a calf problem, Kompany netted City's third in a 4-0 triumph over Newcastle that consolidates their second-placed position in the table.

Little wonder Mancini was so concerned at Kompany being called into World Cup action for Belgium last week, given his obvious importance to the Blues.

Mobbed: Manchester City's players celebrate with Vincent Kompany after he scored his side's third goal against Newcastle

Mobbed: Manchester City's players celebrate with Vincent Kompany after he scored his side's third goal against Newcastle

'Vinnie is important for us,' said Mancini. 'We played without him for 60 days, which was very bad for us, like when we lost Yaya Toure for a month. 'There are some players that are very important and if they don't play for three, four, five games it is a big problem.'

Kompany turned home a Gareth Barry strike at the start of the second half to snuff out any hope of a Newcastle revival after Carlos Tevez – with his seventh in six games – and David Silva had put the hosts in command before half-time.

Yaya Toure increased City's lead before the end and with Sergio Aguero also returning from a knee injury, the Blues will head into their April 8 Manchester derby meeting with United at Old Trafford in confident mood, even if their Premier League title defence is almost over.

'It is impossible we can win the title but it is important to finish the season well,” said Mancini, whose side will discover their FA Cup semi-final opponents on Monday when Chelsea entertain United.

'If we play like this we won't have a problem in the last couple of months of the season.

'We want that second place and to win the FA Cup semi-final.'

Mancini confirmed defender Matija Nastastic had been ruled out by a foot injury sustained on international duty, although the Serbian is not expected to be missing for long.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew admitted his side were second best, a situation that would have been the same even if they had been at full strength.

'I think we might have struggled against that Manchester City side even with my best team,” he said. “Kompany gives them an assurance and a presence at the back that they might have been missing in other games.

Taking the applause: Kompany claps the City fans as he is substituted

Taking the applause: Kompany claps the City fans as he is substituted

Key man: Roberto Mancini is pleased to have Kompany back in the side

Key man: Roberto Mancini is pleased to have Kompany back in the side

'I don't think City are going to win the league and in the first half they had an assurance about them that comes from playing with no pressure.'

The same cannot be said of Newcastle. Whilst Thursday's Europa League quarter-final with Benfica sprinkles some stardust on their season, the spectre of relegation is growing.

The Magpies are now just three points above the drop zone and Pardew accepts they have some scrapping ahead of them if his side are to preserve their top-flight status.

'I don't think we ever thought we were out of it,' said Pardew.

Abou Diaby ruled out for NINE months with torn anterior cruciate ligament

Diaby ruled out for NINE months after injury-plagued Arsenal midfielder suffers torn anterior cruciate ligament in training

)

Muscle injury (September 7, 2012)

Calf muscle strain (April 28, 2012)

Illness (April 23, 2012)

Hamstring (March 29, 2012)

Hamstring (March 3, 2012)

Hamstring (November 26, 2011)

Ankle/foot injury (July 22, 2011)

Calf muscle strain (January 2, 2011)

Calf muscle strain (December 30, 2010)

Ankle/foot injury (October 19, 2010)

Ankle/foot injury (October 4, 2010)

Ankle/foot injury (September 13, 2010)

Calf muscle strain (August 11, 2010)

Calf muscle strain (March 27, 2010)

Knee ligament (February 17, 2010)

Calf muscle strain (January 20, 2010)

Source: physioroom.com