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Sep 27, 2010

Spurs face injury crisis with Gallas and King out

Tottenham will have to do without the services of defender William Gallas for the next three weeks after tearing an groin muscle in training on Friday.

Spurs were also without captain Ledley King for Saturday's 1-0 defeat at West Ham United after the defender suffered a groin strain in the same training session - and he also faces weeks on the sidelines.

Gallas, who has made two appearances since joining the club on a free transfer, will miss this week's Champions League clash against FC Twente and the Premier League date with Aston Villa at White Hart Lane.

The upcoming international break means Spurs do not play again for three weeks, and they will hope Gallas has recovered for the match at Fulham on October 16 and the trip to Inter Milan four days later.

Manager Harry Redknapp is now desperately short on defenders with Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul out while Jonathan Woodgate was not named in their 25-man Premier League squad due to his long-term fitness problems.

Spurs were down to the bare bones on Saturday with Benoit Assou-Ekotto also out, meaning Gareth Bale had to drop back to left-back. Alan Hutton, Sebastien Bassong and Vedran Corluka made up the rest of the defence but Spurs could not name a single defender among their substitutes. Assou-Ekotto should return against Twente.

Redknapp said to the Sun ahead of the game against Twente: "We have to go for it. Winning the game is all-important and it will set us up nicely.

"The group is wide open with one point each. Inter Milan are obviously the favourites but after that, it's wide open. At home, our crowd are pumped up. It will be an intimidating atmosphere, just like it was in the qualifier against Young Boys. We attacked and got after them from the start.

"That is what we have to do in these European games, especially in this group. In Milan you might set up differently but at home ... no.

"I have some concerns at the centre of defence. We've lost some key players through injury - even William Gallas, who I signed on a free from Arsenal, is out until after the next international break. Gallas pulled a groin muscle with his last kick in training on Friday morning.

"Dawson is out long term, King hasn't trained since he played nine days ago against Wolves and Kaboul picked up a calf injury in that game. When I took Gallas on, everyone - even people who worked for me - said 'What are you going to do? You have caused yourself a problem'. Now he's out for three weeks.

"I was close to naming 18-year-old Steven Caulker on the bench for West Ham but he was struggling after starting in midweek against Arsenal. He got cramp everywhere - even his ears!"

Caulker joined Championship side Bristol City on loan on Monday, a confusing move considering the club's injury problems. He cannot be recalled by Spurs for 28 days.

Redknapp said of the loss of King: "It's a blow. When you don't train, you pick up different injuries. If I went for a run tonight, I'd pull up with a calf problem because I don't train regularly. Ledley doesn't train and he picks up little injuries."

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