By Greg Stobart
Tottenham have been given a boost after scans revealed Aaron Lennon's hamstring injury is not as bad as first feared and the winger should return to action in two to three weeks.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is expected to be given a further lift as Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe are both due to return to training on Wednesday ahead of the derby clash against Chelsea on Thursday. The pair missed Sunday's 1-0 victory over Sunderland and will be put through their paces as they look to prove their fitness.
Tottenham had initially feared losing Lennon for six weeks after he was forced off with a hamstring injury during the first-half of the defeat of Sunderland.
But results of a scan taken on Monday showed the 24-year-old has suffered only minor damage and is expected to make a comeback within three weeks. He is expected to miss at least four Premier League fixtures – against Chelsea, Norwich, Swansea and West Brom – during that period.
Bale and Defoe, meanwhile, hope to train with the rest of the first-team squad on Wednesday morning in the hope of winning their battles to be fit for the visit of fourth-placed Chelsea to White Hart Lane.
Bale twisted an ankle during training on Saturday and remains a doubt, but Spurs are desperate for the Welshman to play and he could be given painkilling injections to make it through the game.
Redknapp has been upbeat on Defoe's chances of returning to the side as he attempts to recover from a niggling hamstring injury that he has been carrying for the last few weeks.
“There's every chance Defoe will be fit,” Redknapp said on Sunday. “He's only got a grade one tear and he's desperate to play, the little fella.”
How do you stay up to date with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com – your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.