Harry Redknapp says there is light at the end of the tunnel for Tottenham Hotspur with regard to the club's injury troubles.
Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale are expected to play a part in the second leg of Spurs' Champions League clash with AC Milan, having spent time on the sidelines.
A host of other players, Tom Huddlestone and Jonathan Woodgate among them, have been long-term absentees who could be back in the fold sooner than expected. Woodgate did make a fleeting appearance in the 1-0 win over Milan at the San Siro only to succumb to a fresh setback, but Redknapp feels his treatment room will soon have breathing space.
"There are lots of players we are looking to get back. There are so many out who have been in great form before and are recovering from their injuries," Redknapp said. "Tom Huddlestone is not too far away from starting training, which is great for us. Tom has been long-term.
"Jonathan Woodgate's injury is not as bad as we felt in Milan. Ledley [King] is out training so there are lots of them on the way back."
Jermain Defoe has had a season plagued by injuries and has failed to hit the target in the league and Redknapp said it has been a frustrating spell for player and club.
"It is difficult with goalscorers," he said. "He has just gone through one of those spells where he has not been able to score. Normally at this time of year he has 15 or 16 goals, so we are just hoping he can go on a run between now and the end of the season.
"If he does that it will make a massive difference to our points tally. It is confidence and once he starts hitting the back of the net he will start scoring in numbers, but at the moment it is getting off the mark."