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Mar 31, 2011

Spurs boost over Bale and Lennon

Harry Redknapp has revealed Gareth Bale is back working with Tottenham's medical staff and "has a chance" of featuring in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid.

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Bale was forced to pull out of Wales' Euro 2012 qualifier against England due to a hamstring problem, which was diagnosed as a grade one strain. Immediately the left-sided flyer was rated a major doubt for the trip to Madrid, but Redknapp is not ready to rule out his star man just yet, hinting he may only play Bale in one of the two forthcoming fixtures against Wigan and Madrid.

"He's back here, he's not trained with us this morning but he's working with the fitness coaches, and he looks OK," Redknapp told Sky Sports News. "Whether he's ready to play two games is doubtful. We'll decide on Friday which way we go with it. We really want to finish top four again to get Champions League football, so we have to give it a real good go at Wigan.

"We'd love to have him fit, but if he's not fit we won't play him. We hope Gareth's fit but we'll have to wait and see."

Redknapp also had news on Aaron Lennon, the man who created the crucial goal in their two-legged tie with AC Milan, after the winger pulled out of England's friendly with Ghana.

"Aaron's OK, he trained this morning and felt OK. His hamstring was tight so we didn't risk him with England, but he felt OK today."

Redknapp has a defensive crisis heading into the weekend clash with Wigan, with four of his central defenders out through injury.

"We started with six or seven central defenders, but we lost Ledley King, who looks like he'll have an operation at the end of the season. Jonathan Woodgate was making progress but he got a calf injury against Barnet. He's an absolute top class centre half, one of the best in Europe, but because he keeps making comebacks he keeps getting niggling injuries.

"Younes Kaboul is out with a calf strain, and William Gallas has had a scan today on his knee, and he's struggling a bit for the weekend as well. So we're left with Michael Dawson and Sebastien Bassong."

Spurs play Wigan just 72 hours before they face Real and Redknapp is unhappy at the busy schedule facing his side.

"We only had two senior players training last week. All the others came back this morning,'' Redknapp added. "Five of them played 90 minutes on Tuesday night, Gallas went for a scan this morning and one or two of them have little niggles.

"You can't come out here this morning and start thinking about how we are going to beat Real Madrid because we have to play Wigan on Saturday. It's farcical. You play Saturday, you recover on Sunday. You're not going to have your XI ready on Sunday because you are going to have aches and pains and knocks.

"Then you travel to Madrid early Monday morning and you are not going to want to walk on to the pitch at the Bernabeu and start working on corners and set plays and shape because everyone will be looking at you. It's going to be very difficult to prepare for Real Madrid because Wigan are in the way.''

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