Andre Villas-Boas said Defoe's injury is not as bad as it could have been and that Spurs are also sweating on Emmanuel Adebayor's return from Africa Cup of Nations duty.
The forward missed out on England's friendly with Brazil at Wembley on Wednesday night, which the Three Lions won 2-1. The Spurs boss has now indicated that his attacker will be unavailable for 2-to-3 weeks, but insists it could have been much worse.
"It’s good news in the end, because it could have been further damage to [Defoe's] ankle," Villas-Boas told reporters.
The problem, with Emmanuel Adebayor not yet back from the Africa Cup of Nations, also leaves Spurs with just one recognized striker - that being Clint Dempsey, who is unlikely to be back until Friday after featuring and scoring in the United States' World Cup qualifying loss to Honduras.
The Togo international Adebayor should return soon, though, after his country exited the Cup of Nations at the quarterfinal stage at the hands of finalist Burkina Faso last Sunday.
Villas-Boas said his Adebayor is indeed expected to return to training in the next couple of days, saying, "We're trying to establish the best flight connections for [Adebayor]."
Another player that could return to provide a boost to the North London club is Younes Kaboul, who has played just once this season after undergoing knee surgery in August. The defender, who was one of the club's most consistent performers last season, had initially been expected back in January but saw that date chalked off by his manager after numerous set-backs in his recovery.
Villas-Boas has now revealed that the center half will return to training on Monday and could be back in first-team action within three weeks, but stressed that the club will not rush him into anything.
"It's going to be his first training session since August so we have to be very careful," Villas-Boas said. "He has to catch up, but with the tremendous willingness he has to come back, hopefully [he will be back] within 2-to-3 weeks."