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Defoe faces lay-off with nagging calf injury

Portsmouth and England striker Jermain Defoe may need an operation and a month out of action to solve his calf problem. The former Tottenham frontman limped out of England's 2-1 win in Germany on Wednesday at half-time and was not able to feature for his club in Saturday's draw with Hull.

Defoe is set to see a specialist on Monday and believes surgery may be the only option left.

"I've been suffering for the past three games with the calf injury and it's got to the stage that when I play, I can't feel my foot because of the numbness," told the Sunday Mirror.

"I have had treatment including acupuncture but it's showing no signs of clearing up.

"Another England player had a similar problem and required surgery to sort it out. It's a minor operation but means I will be absent for at least four weeks."

Manager Tony Adams contemplates fielding a weakened team for the club's clash with Italian giants AC Milan in the UEFA Cup on Thursday.

Influential midfielders Lassana Diarra and Niko Kranjcar are, like Defoe, also under specialists' care for the injuries which kept them out of Saturday's 2-2 home draw with Hull.

And Adams, ready to select some of last season's FA Cup-winning heroes who have now become bit-part players - like Kanu, Hermann Hreidarsson and David Nugent - for the big European night, insists he will not risk the fitness of top-line stars.

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