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Bale returns to training

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale is back in training after recovering from a hamstring injury and is in contention to face Stoke at the weekend.

• Blog: Spurs must plan for Bale exit
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Bale, 23, had been sidelined since December 1 after picking up the injury in Spurs' 3-0 win against Fulham at Craven Cotage.

And manager Andre Villas-Boas is delighted to have the Wales international back after having to make do without him for three games.

"It's good news," he told the club's official website. "First for the player (Bale) because he wants to be back in the group and he's made a tremendous recovery. He's worked extremely hard."

Defender Michael Dawson also picked up a hamstring injury in the same game as Bale and has recently rejoined training too.

"Michael was injured in the same game as Gareth and they've both returned to training. It's great to have them back," Villas-Boas added.

"Benoit (Assou-Ekotto) is also recovering his fitness, along with Scott Parker. Scott is a little ahead of Benoit, but he's getting back into shape and back into contention."

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