Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Can't Afford to Take Any Liberties with Injured Lennon

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Can't Afford to Take Any Liberties with Injured Lennon

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Football Correspondent

MICHAEL DAWSON has an outside chance of recovering for Tottenham's match at Swansea in 10 days' time but Aaron Lennon's hamstring trouble is causing more of a headache at White Hart Lane.

Both players were forced to withdraw from the England squad because of hamstring damage. While Spurs believe Dawson could be back for the Premier League game at the Liberty Stadium, they are determined not to rush Lennon after the winger suffered a setback in the recent Europa League tie at Inter Milan. If he returns ahead of schedule again, it is thought he risks a hamstring tear which could mean an absence of up to a month.

Lennon complained of tightness in his hamstring in both legs of the quarter-final against the Serie A club and missed the League defeat at Liverpool on March 10. Head coach Andre Villas-Boas would have preferred not to use him in the return fixture at San Siro but as Spurs were performing poorly, Lennon was sent on in the second half. After the game, the 25-year-old again felt discomfort and was ruled out of last Sunday's 1-0 home defeat by Fulham in the League.

Lennon's history of muscle problems means the emphasis is likely to be on rest and rehabilitation work away from the training pitches.

While there is plenty of cover in central defence to compensate for Dawson's absence, Lennon is the only senior right-winger in the squad.

Lennon's ability to combine attacking menace with defensive diligence is a key component in this team. While Villas-Boas wants him back as soon as possible, he knows that mistiming Lennon's return could have serious consequences for Spurs's season.

Meanwhile, former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric insists he is happy at Real Madrid despite a difficult first season with the Spanish champions.

Although Modric, who moved to Spain from north London for [pounds sterling]33million last summer, scored in the recent Champions League win over Manchester United, he has generally struggled to establish himself at Madrid. …

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