The muscular problem means the diminutive forward will miss his side’s Europa League quarter-final with Basel and the critical league clash with sixth-placed Everton on Sunday.
Defoe could be fit for the visit of Manchester City to White Hart Lane in three weeks’ time, however, but until then the north London club must rely on their only remaining recognised striker, Emmanuel Adebayor.
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"If he can't make Basel away he should be fit for Man City.
"It's a big blow. It's on the same muscle that he had a small tear last month. It's on the other side now and it's a big miss as he represents a lot for us and he will be a big miss."
The 30-year-old has struggled with injuries throughout the season and has failed to find the net since Boxing Day – though he has started just seven league games in that time.