Tottenham's defensive problems continue to mount with the news that captain Ledley King is to undergo an operation on his groin as manager Harry Redknapp admitted he is "nowhere near" being able to play.
The 30-year-old has been bedevilled by injuries in recent years, particularly to his knees, undertaking a limited training programme in order to manage the problem.
The news comes as a blow to Redknapp, who is already without the suspended Michael Dawson and injured Younes Kaboul and William Gallas at the back. He is likely to be forced to rush Jonathan Woodgate, who has suffered groin problems of his own, back into action.
Redknapp said: "Ledley will have an operation. He is nowhere near ready to play.
"We have some key, very important players missing. "Michael Dawson got sent off at the weekend, Younes Kaboul was in great form and then he was sent off for against Newcastle at home and now he has to have an operation on his knee so he's out.
"Gareth Bale and Tom Huddlestone are both missing. They are big players for us so we have been pushed into pushing Woodgate in way ahead of what I should be because we have problems with the squad."