Redknapp concerned over King

Defender King faces another spell on the sidelines after suffering
a recurrence of a groin problem just before half-time of Spurs’
Premier League victory at Fulham. King’s notoriously-fragile knees
have left him unable to train properly for several years, while he
has struggled to play more than one game a week. And it now appears
a lack of training is beginning to take its toll on a player who on
Tuesday turned the wrong side of 30. “He’s going to be (out) a
while,” said manager Redknapp. “The problem he has, he doesn’t
train, and when you don’t train, you pick up injuries. It’s such a
shame for him; he’s such a great player. “If I go out and start
trying to sprint up that pitch now without training, I’m going to
go and tear a hamstring, or do a groin, or do a calf or something.
“And that’s his problem; he can’t train. “He’s been doing that for
several years. “But I think, now, he’s picking up one or two more
injuries.” Yesterday saw Redknapp “gamble” on playing King, with
the intention of leaving him out of Wednesday night’s mouthwatering
Champions League clash with Inter Milan. “I thought, ‘I’m better
off getting two games out of him’,” said the Tottenham boss, who
had hoped to play King in Saturday’s match with Everton but now
looks to be without him for at least next month. It is yet another
defensive headache for Redknapp, whose problems this season were
summed up by the fact Saturday was the first time King and summer
signing William Gallas had played together. Indeed, theirs was
Spurs’ 11th different centre-back partnership in 13 games this
season. Gallas has also endured an injury-hit start to life at
White Hart Lane and Saturday was his first appearance for a month.
“He came out Thursday morning – first time he’s been able to
train,” said Redknapp of the former Arsenal captain. “I was pleased
with what he did back there for us. “(Sebastien) Bassong came on
and coped well at the back with him as well.” That partnership,
which kept a second-half clean sheet in a 2-1 win, will be retained
on Wednesday night, with Younes Kaboul unlikely to be ready to
return from his hamstring problem. Redknapp added of Gallas: “He’s
got to play – there’s no-one else! “Whether you can get three games
in a week out of him, though, is going to be difficult. “I’ll
probably have to take a chance on Wednesday.” Redknapp’s problems
at the back have been offset this season by an embarrassment of
riches going forward. The indifferent form of Aaron Lennon had been
one concern but the England winger was scintillating in a
second-half cameo yesterday. Redknapp said: “Coming in at 1-1 at
half-time, we didn’t really get behind them enough. “For all the
possession we had, we played in front of them an awful lot. “Aaron
Lennon, I felt, would give us some pace and get behind. “And he was
a real threat. That was Lennon back, much, much better. “That was
the best he’s been for a long time.” Saturday’s defeat was Mark
Hughes’ first in the Premier League since becoming Fulham boss and
it could hardly have been more controversial. Tom Huddlestone’s
63rd-minute winner was awarded by referee Mike Dean, despite
assistant Martin Yerby flagging Gallas offside. And there was more
bad news for Hughes, who lost captain Danny Murphy (groin) and
striker Mousa Dembele (hip) to injury. Hughes said: “Mousa was
struggling just before half-time and we did a bit of work on him at
half-time to try to get a little bit more time out of him but he
was only 60-70% in the second half. “Him and Danny are obviously a
key part of our positive play, so to lose them in the latter stages
of the game, when we have to show a little bit of craft and guile,
(was disappointing).”