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England lose Defoe as Spurs sweat on striker

ESPN staff
February 3, 2013 « Etim: Renee Forte gets punished at Wembley Arena | Chartbeat test »
Jermain Defoe could miss weeks for Tottenham © PA Photos
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Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has been ruled out of England's squad for the friendly against Brazil due to an ankle injury sustained at West Brom, Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed.

Defoe hobbled off after a challenge with Shane Long and had attention on his foot, which was wrapped in a protective boot after the game. His injury leaves Spurs without a recognised striker and also puts him out for his country next week, but he will be sent for a scan to determine the full extent of the damage.

"I am extremely happy with the win - apart from the injury to Jermain Defoe," manager Andre Villas-Boas said after the game. "He rolled his ankle. He will have to have a scan to reveal the extent of the injury.

"Hopefully there is not a lot of ligament damage. If there is, he could be out for two to three weeks. Has he been withdrawn from the England squad? Yes he has.''

Meanwhile, Tottenham midfielder Gareth Bale was delighted his side took full advantage of slips by their rivals by beating 10-man West Brom.

"It's massive," Bale told Sky Sports 1. "We spoke before the game because other results went our way yesterday and that gave us a big chance to capitalise. Thankfully we did. I think all the lads worked very hard and they deserved the victory.''

Bale, who is thriving in a new central role alongside Clint Dempsey, found himself within shooting range in the 67th minute, his left-footed drive beating Ben Foster from just outside the box.

"I enjoy it,'' he added. "It's a role that I'm learning season by season. I've come inside more often than previous seasons and it's a role I'm enjoying.

"It's a new experience for me, a chance to improve my game and it gives me another dimension.''

Germany international Lewis Holtby made his second Spurs appearance from the bench and revealed he is settling in well at White Hart Lane.

He said: "The lads are all making it easy for me to play. It's a fantastic club and I enjoy coming in every day.

"It's a massive boost to get the three points away (from home). It's unbelievable. If we have games like today and get the three points then it's a massive relief. I'm just happy to be at the club.''

Defoe was not the only international withdrawal on Sunday, as Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick also pulled out with a hip complaint.

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