Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Spurs without trio for fortnight

Gareth Bale was carried off on a stretcher against Basle

Tottenham have received a huge boost in their hopes for Champions League qualification with the news that Gareth Bale will return to training within two weeks.

Bale was carried off on a stretcher during the dying seconds of Spurs' 2-2 draw against Basle, prompting fears the 22-goal forward could be out for a lengthy period. The Welshman, Aaron Lennon and William Gallas - who also had to come off during Thursday night's Europa League quarter-final first leg - all underwent scans and the news was positive for the London club.

A Spurs statement read: "The club can confirm that Gareth Bale (sprained ankle ligaments), William Gallas (calf strain) and Aaron Lennon (soft tissue contusion below the knee) all underwent scans today (Friday) after being forced off with injuries during our Europa League quarter-final first leg draw with Basel last night."

The statement added: "The results of these scans have indicated that all three players are expected to return to training within two weeks. Bale, Gallas and Lennon have all commenced their treatment today and are responding positively."

Many thought Andre Villas-Boas was just being optimistic when he claimed that Bale would be out for a short time of around three weeks. The way that David Degen trod on the 23-year-old's standing ankle, twisting it almost at a right angle to his right leg, led to a shriek from the player and Spurs fans inside White Hart Lane started to fear the worst.

Yet the results of the scan are even better than expected with the Welshman possibly missing two matches - next Thursday's second leg against Basle, which follows Sunday's visit of Everton in the Barclays Premier League.

He is scheduled to return to training before Tottenham's crunch match against champions Manchester City on April 21.

There are many statistics that can be used to highlight just how important Bale has been to Tottenham's success this season, the main one being that he has already found the net 22 times.

Many of those goals have been crucial ones that have decided the outcome of matches that seemed lost before he took them by the scruff of the neck.

Yet Lennon's contribution on the right flank has been almost as important, with the England winger finding the best form of his career under Villas-Boas, whose team sit third in the league with seven games of the season left.

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