Villas-Boas hopeful injured Vertonghen to be back for start of season

The Portuguese boss has suggested that the defender may have suffered a ligament sprain in his ankle but believes he could play a part against Crystal Palace on August 18
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is hopeful that Jan Vertonghen will recover for the start of the season after sustaining an ankle injury against Sunderland in the Asia Trophy.

The Belgium defender was substituted only minutes after coming on as a half-time replacement for Steven Caulker when he landed awkwardly.

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Villas-Boas revealed that Vertonghen may have suffered a ligament sprain but is optimistic he may be available to face Crystal Palace on August 18.

Villas-Boas told reporters: "There is some range of movement so we have to hope it won't be that long. Hopefully he'll be back for the first game of the season.

"He might have sprained the ligaments in his left ankle. He will need to have an MRI scan to establish full extent."

Vertonghen, meanwhile, tweeted after the match: "Let's hope the injury isn't to bad. Scan tomorrow morning. Thx for your messages!"

Kick-off in Hong Kong was delayed for 30 minutes due to a waterlogged pitch and the two sides subsequently agreed to play 40-minute halves as Paolo Di Canio's side emerged 3-1 victors.