x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

'A blow' for Spurs as Van der Vaart is sidelined by calf injury

Tottenham Hotspur have the chance to go third in the Premier League tonight, but they must visit Blackpool without Rafael van der Vaart.

 

Tottenham Hotspur have the chance to go third in the Premier League tonight, but they must visit Blackpool without Rafael van der Vaart, who aggravated his calf injury in training yesterday.

The Dutchman, a key player for Harry Redknapp's team, should be fit to return to action in 10 days, in time for the return leg of Tottenham's Champions League last 16 tie against AC Milan. Van der Vaart played an hour of Tottenham's 1-0 first leg win against Milan last Tuesday after picking up the injury in the club's 2-1 win at Bolton Wanderers on February 5.

Redknapp is confident that he will be back to full fitness for Tottenham's game at Wolverhampton Wanderers on March 6 and the match against AC Milan three days later.

"It's a blow, he is a fantastic player. We need him but we can't get that run out of him," said the Spurs manager.

"I'm hoping he will be back for Wolves. He should be OK, it's not a tear."

Redknapp's hopes of pushing for a top-four finish have been hampered by injuries to key players.

Gareth Bale missed the win at the San Siro with a back injury and is not available for tonight's game against Ian Holloway's side.

Redknapp is hopeful the Welshman will be fit for the second leg against Milan, though. "Gareth is slowly improving and hopefully he's on his way back," he said.

Tottenham are two points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea in the table and two behind Manchester City - who have played a game more - in third. They face a Blackpool side who have lost four of their last six home games, shipping an average of two goals per game.

Holloway says he hopes his side can succeed where Milan failed.

"We're not scared, far from it," he told The Independent. "I know we will offer a very different challenge to the one they faced in Milan"

* Press Association

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