Tottenham centre-back Michael Dawson's return from injury has handed Harry Redknapp a timely boost to help ease the defensive crisis at White Hart Lane.
Spurs boss Redknapp saw Ledley King pick up a hamstring problem against Chelsea at the weekend and Sebastien Bassong suffered head, neck and knee injuries, while Jonathan Woodgate could require further surgery on the groin complaint that has kept him out all season.
Dawson, who has not played since April, has recovered from his damaged Achilles and the 25-year-old could play for an hour at Preston on Wednesday in the third round of the Carling Cup.
"Michael is in the squad and I might look to give him an hour - that is as much as we can expect from him as he's been out for a long time," Redknapp said. "We don't want to break him down again.
"It's good to have him back. He is a fantastic boy and a good player."
It is unclear when Redknapp's other three centre-backs will return, although there are hopes of Bassong coming back for Saturday's clash against Burnley.
"Ledley's injury is going to keep him out for a while, Jonathan Woodgate has had an injection and we'll give it 10 days to see if that will clear his problem - if not he'll have surgery," Redknapp continued.
"He's already had surgery so I don't know how much surgery you can keep having. Sebastien took that bang on the head. That is okay but he also damaged his knee when he went down. Hopefully that will settle down."
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