Belfast Telegraph

Redknapp leaves decision to Rafa

Harry Redknapp will give Rafael van der Vaart the final say over his fitness ahead of Tottenham's Barclays Premier League clash with Sunderland.

Van der Vaart was badly missed in Saturday's 4-2 Barclays Premier League defeat at Bolton and on Monday remained a major doubt for Tuesday night's game at White Hart Lane with a hamstring injury. He made a surprise recovery this time last week to start Spurs' historic Champions League win over Inter Milan and could do the same.

Manager Redknapp said: "It's like any player, I think you always ask them. The only person who knows how they feel is the player. All the physios in the world can say whatever they want."

He added: "If you've got a pain, the physio can say, 'No, he's okay', but you say, 'No I'm not' - you've got to be relying on the player.

"Of course, if he feels all right, he'll play. But if he says, 'No, I still feel it a little bit', then that's the end of him."

Redknapp added: "He limped off at Man United and I thought, 'That's the end of him for a few weeks', but he came out and played against Inter Milan.

"With a hamstring, normally you don't expect him to have a chance of playing."

Fellow midfielder Tom Huddlestone should return to the starting line-up after being rested to the bench on Saturday.

The 23-year-old avoided suspension for an alleged stamp on Bolton striker Johan Elmander after coming on as a substitute at the Reebok Stadium.

The Football Association were unable to act after referee Chris Foy's report confirmed the match officials had not missed the incident.

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