Tottenham full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto is set to miss most of January after suffering a groin strain, boss Harry Redknapp has confirmed.
Assou-Ekotto, 25, has withdrawn from Cameroon's African Nations Cup squad and requires an injection next week for the injury, but it is understood he will not require an operation.
It is a double blow for Spurs manager Redknapp as England winger Aaron Lennon has been ruled out for a fortnight with a similar problem.
"Benoit is having an an injection on Monday," Redknapp said. "And he will be out for a few weeks.
"He has been terrific. Two terrific players, him and Lennon, have both picked up groin strains. It's a big blow to us. They are two outstanding players."
Gareth Bale is set to deputise for Assou-Ekotto at left-back but Redknapp has still not decided how to replace Lennon on the right flank.
David Bentley is an obvious choice but Luka Modric has returned from a fractured fibula, while Niko Kranjcar's form has impressed Redknapp.
Redknapp added: "I could play Krancjar and Modric wide. Modric could play on the right just as easily as on the left. The two Croatian boys are fantastic technicians and great footballers."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms