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Andros Townsend back for Tottenham but Nabil Bentaleb is out with ankle problem

Published 20/11/2015

Andros Townsend has returned to the first-team fold ahead of Tottenham's match against West Ham on Sunday.
Andros Townsend has returned to the first-team fold ahead of Tottenham's match against West Ham on Sunday.

Andros Townsend's exile from the Tottenham squad is over but Nabil Bentaleb will miss Sunday's derby against West Ham after he was injured playing for Algeria.

Townsend was banned from first-team training and left out of the squad to face Arsenal two weeks ago as punishment for a heated exchange with a Spurs fitness trainer during a post-match warm-down.

Mauricio Pochettino, however, has welcomed the winger back into the fold and insists all is forgotten ahead of this weekend's clash at White Hart Lane.

"Andros started training with the group again on Tuesday," Pochettino said.

"For me, it was a problem for which he has apologised. He is still young, needs to improve.

"For me, forget the past, if he deserves to be in the squad, it is not a problem.

"We need to forget that and we need to give him the possibility to be part of the team."

Bentaleb is not available to face the Hammers, however, after he sustained a knock to his ankle during Algeria's 7-0 win over Tanzania on Tuesday.

The challenge came on the same ankle that has prevented Bentaleb from playing for Tottenham since the end of August - although Pochettino is confident the midfielder will be back next week.

"We feel sorry for Bentaleb because he was very close to playing in the week we played against Arsenal," Pochettino said.

"We agreed with him that to go to the national team was a good opportunity to start to compete again.

"This is one step back but I am sure that in the next few days he will be available to be selected again. For Qarabag (next Thursday) or for Chelsea (next Sunday). It's not a big issue.

"It was the same ankle, it was a very bad tackle. If you look at it, it was a very bad tackle. We are lucky and he is lucky it was not a big issue."

Tottenham winger Erik Lamela is suspended for the match against West Ham and Nacer Chadli remains out with an ankle problem.

Clinton Njie, however, has shaken off a hamstring strain while summer signing Son Heung-min is also available again following his recovery from a foot injury.

Son has not started for Spurs in eight weeks but played 90 minutes and scored twice for South Korea in a 5-0 win over Laos on Tuesday.

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