LONDON: Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes the ankle injury suffered by Gareth Bale in the closing stages of Thursday’s 2-2 quarter-final Europa League draw with Basel may not be “as bad as it looks”.
Bale, who has scored 22 goals this season and has been the catalyst that sees Villas-Boas’ side sitting third in the Barclays Premier League, was stretchered off in stoppage time, with stills of his injury showing his foot bent almost at right angles to his leg.
However, Villas-Boas is hoping he could be fit in less than three weeks. He said: “Gareth has rolled over his ankle. We still need to get assessment that we can only have on Friday. It shouldn’t be as bad as it looks because Gareth has torn that ligament before and there’s nothing to tear now. There is lots of swelling and the pain is obviously very, very big but we hope to assess him tomorrow.
“There is a big possibility he is going to be able to make it for the Man City game and he will only miss the next two games.”
Bale will be a big loss for Spurs when they travel to Switzerland for the return leg next week but Villas-Boas is confident other players can step in to fill the void left by the Wales international.
“We’ve played without Bale before and we’ve got the results that we needed, that have put us in the position we are in the league also,” he said. “We recognise the form the player is in and the squad will step up a level for his absence. Key players are always missed by any team but we have played without him before.”
Spurs struggled in the 2-2 draw even with Bale in the side as goals from Valentin Stocker and Fabian Frei put the visitors into a shock two-goal lead.
Strikes from Emmanuel Adebayor and Gylfi Sigurdsson earned a respectable result for Spurs against a side who Villas-Boas believes cannot be equalled at White Hart Lane so far this season.
Elsewhere Newcastle face an uphill task to reach the semi-finals after Benfica came from behind to win 3-1 in Lisbon but Chelsea, with two goals from Fernando Torres, defeated Rubin Kazan by the same margin at Stamford Bridge.
Fenerbahce left it late to snatch a 2-0 win over Lazio with goals from Pierre Webo and Dirk Kuyt.
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