Defoe in opening day fitness race

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Tottenham assistant manager Joe Jordan hopes Jermain Defoe will win his fitness battle to face Manchester City in the opening game of the new Barclays Premier League season.

The striker is carrying a minor groin problem which forced him out of the friendly win over Fiorentina.

However, Jordan hopes the England forward, who was not included in Fabio Capello's squad to face Hungary, can shake it off in time to tackle City at White Hart Lane and to face Swiss side Young Boys in next week's crucial Champions League qualifier.

"I don't think it is anything serious," Jordan told ESPN Sport. "Jermain went for a scan and there is an ever so slight tear there."

He added: "It is more precaution than anything. I think he should be all right. We have had to hold him back. He was desperate to train in the latter part of last week but he was pulled out.

"We are hoping that some time this week he will be back in training with the lads."

Defoe's strike partner Peter Crouch has, meanwhile, been linked with a move away from White Hart Lane.

The England striker is said to be interesting both former club Liverpool and Everton, with manager Harry Redknapp reported to be looking to free up funds to move for Nice frontman Loic Remy.

However, Jordan sees the 6ft 7ins forward playing an important part for Spurs in the new season, which will see them again chasing qualification for the Champions League.

"We had a lot of competition when we brought Peter in and he has done very, very well," said Jordan

"I don't think we will let him go too easily. He is a player that has proved himself at Tottenham."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Jermain Defoe

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