Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp looks set to step up his search for a defender after conceding Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Dawson are unlikely to be fit for the start of the season.
Woodgate is likely to need a hernia operation while Dawson has damaged his Achilles and Ledley King has yet to participate in pre-season.
"Jonathan Woodgate is struggling and I think he may have to have an operation," said Redknapp. "I think he may have to have another hernia operation. He had one at the end of last season but obviously it has not worked so he may have to go back in again."
He added: "I don't see (Michael Dawson) or Woody being fit for the start of the season."
That leaves Spurs limited at the back with 20-year-old Dorian Dervite an option while Tom Huddlestone and Vedran Corluka can both provide temporary cover.
With their Premier League opener against Liverpool two weeks away, Redknapp knows he needs to bolster his defence.
"We are still looking to improve the squad," he added. "If I can still get one or two in to make us strong and if we can do that then it will be good."
Meanwhile, Redknapp denied reports that Hull have submitted a bid for full-back Alan Hutton.
The Scotland international was believed to be the subject of a £7million bid from the Tigers, who are looking to add to their squad following a frustrating summer in the transfer market.
"I have never heard from Hull that they want Alan," he added. "He played in the first few games after I arrived injured from his injury before and he had never really recovered. Then he had an operation and he came back at the end of the season in good shape and he started this year in good nick."
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