Defoe blow for Tottenham as injury rules striker out of next three matches
12:39 GMT, 3 April 2013
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
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.
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'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