Tottenham's Bale set to miss rest of season
Gareth Bale's foot injury is expected to keep him out of action for the rest of the season, Tottenham sporting director Damien Comolli has confirmed.
Bale, the 18-year-old Wales left-back, suffered a strained ligament following a tackle from Birmingham's Fabrice Muamba at the start of December and has only just had his cast removed.
Comolli said: 'Gareth's injury was reviewed and although the surgeon was happy with the results of the x-rays, he does not anticipate Gareth being able to play any further part in this season.
'We are all disappointed for Gareth, but he is still very young and his long-term fitness is our priority.'
Bale's injury made signing a left-back one of Comolli's priorities during the January transfer window, and Gilberto was brought in for around £2million despite the deal being held up and appearing to collapse.
With Benoit Assou-Ekotto also out for the rest of the campaign, Young-Pyo Lee has played there for much of the season but he favours his right foot.
Pascal Chimbonda was selected at left-back against Manchester United at the weekend and midfielders Jamie O'Hara and Teemu Tainio have also had spells there.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Woodgate has been credited with bringing a calmness to the Spurs defence in the last two games.
Fellow new signing Alan Hutton, after his debut against United, said: 'I thought we looked solid. The defence is looking good in my eyes, so, hopefully we can go from strength to strength.'