Tottenham striker ruled out of key Europa League clash

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Tottenham could be without Jermain Defoe for their next three games after the striker picked up a muscular injury.

Defoe will miss Spurs' Europa League quarter-final 1st leg tie against Basel on Thursday as well as the return leg, and the home game against Everton this weekend.

The England striker was a substitute in Tottenham's 2-1 win over Swansea on Saturday and had a spell on the sidelines with an ankle complaint picked up while on international duty in February.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas described Defoe's injury as a "big blow" at a crucial time of the season.

"Jermain has a muscle injury which is probably going to take him out of the next two games definitely and maybe Basel away," he told reporters today.

"If he can't make Basel away he should be fit for Man City.

"It's a big blow. It's on the same muscle that he had a small tear last month. It's on the other side now and it's a big miss as he represents a lot for us and he will be a big miss."

The injury to Defoe once more leaves Tottenham short of striking options ahead of a potentially defining run of fixtures.

Emmanuel Adebayor will lead the line in Defoe's absence as Spurs' only frontline striker, although the Togolese striker is yet to find his best for this season. Having scored 17 league goals last time round while on loan at White Hart Lane, this time he's managed just two Premier League goals so far.

Defoe has 10 league goals to his name so far this season, although he has struggled in front of goal recently and hasn't scored for Spurs since December.

After the two quarter-final games against Basel, Villas-Boas' side go up against fellow top-four hopefuls Everton before facing Manchester City and Chelsea.

Spurs currently sit in third place in the Premier League, two points clear of Chelsea and a further two clear of Arsenal - although they have played a game more - as they chase Champions League qualification. 


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Tottenham Hotspur
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Jermain Defoe

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