World Cup fears for Spurs’ Lennon

Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon has given England manager Fabio

Capello a World Cup scare by breaking down in training, further

delaying his return to first-team action.

Lennon has been sidelined since the end of December with a

groin strain that was expected to only keep him out for a few

weeks.

But the injury has persisted and, although Lennon returned to

training last week, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp revealed the wideman

suffered a setback in a practice session that will cause him to

miss Wednesday’s north London derby against Arsenal.

Lennon’s ongoing problem is a major blow to Spurs’ hopes of

clinching fourth spot and the final Champions League berth for next

season, but it is also a cause for concern for England and Capello.

The 22-year-old is generally regarded as England’s

first-choice right-winger but Capello, who names his preliminary

30-man World Cup squad next month before cutting it down to 23

players on June 1, will be loath to select someone who has not

played in 2010.

Redknapp said: “He trained yesterday and had a bit of a

setback again.

“Hopefully he’ll be fit for the World Cup – I hope he’s fit

to play for Tottenham first and foremost.

“He’s sore again. He’s come out in training and felt a bit

sore after. So I don’t know.

“We just have to keep our fingers crossed but it’s been a

long time.”

Capello has already lost one right midfielder, David Beckham

(ruptured Achilles tendon), to injury and will be desperate not to

lose another.

Lennon is battling with the likes of Theo Walcott, James

Milner and Shaun Wright-Phillips for a place on the plane to South

Africa.