Barclays Premier League run-in after making good progress in his recovery from a foot injury.
Spurs hope Defoe will be available again from mid-April meaning he would play in a part in the final six Premier League fixtures of the campaign.After making just five appearances before sustaining his injury, the return of the 26-year-old would be a huge boost for a team still not clear of relegation trouble.
Hotshot: Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has been out since January with a foot injury
It had been feared that Defoe would miss the rest of the season aftersuffering a metatarsal injury in late January just three weeks aftercompleting his £15.75million return to White Hart Lane from Portsmouth.
But the England striker is due to have the protective boot removed fromhis foot next week and should begin running again soon afterwards.
Defoe scored three goals in his five matches before sustaining theinjury and Spurs have struggled without him. Even though fellow Januarysigning Robbie Keane has scored twice in his last two matches —including the late equaliser in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Sunderland thattook the club five points clear of the bottom three no Spurs forwardmanaged to find the target in five games between 8 February and 1March.
Dropped: Roman Pavlyuchenko
Spurs face matches against fellow strugglers West Brom and Newcastleduring the run-in, as well as daunting trips to Manchester United andLiverpool.
Meanwhile, Spurs striker Roman Pavlyuchenko insists his first season inEngland has been a success despite being dropped for the game at theStadium of Light. It is understood that Pavlyuchenko may be allowed to leave Spurs in thesummer after just one season at White Hart Lane, as manager HarryRedknapp carries out further rebuilding on his squad, but the Russian said: 'I am happy with Spurs and I want to win things here. London already feels like home. 'I am pleased because this is the strongest league in the world. I hadset myself a target of 15 goals for my first season. I have got togrips with the style of English football and adapted my game. 'We've been frustrated by our League position for some time buthopefully now things will start to improve. Now we can't afford to takeour foot off the gas.'
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