Corluka set for ‘a few weeks’ out

Corluka had to be carried off on a stretcher in the second half of

Spurs’ 1-0 win over AC Milan in the San Siro on Tuesday, after

being hit with a late two-footed sliding challenge from Mathieu

Flamini. Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp lambasted the former Arsenal

man for the tackle, which he believes could have easily broken the

Croatian’s leg. The right-back feared the tackle may have ended his

season but a scan on his injured ankle revealed limited damage,

with the club hopeful that he will return to light training next

week after the removal of a protective boot which he put was given

in the aftermath of the challenge. A Tottenham statement read:

“Vedran Corluka will remain immobilised in a protective boot for

the next four days after a scan determined that he had sprained

part of his ankle joint capsule following a challenge from Mathieu

Flamini during Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first-leg

victory over AC Milan. “Following a clinical examination by a foot

and ankle specialist this afternoon, it has been recommended that

Vedran make a gradual return to training starting next week.

“Should the Croatia international feel no ill effects of the injury

during his gradual return to training then he should be back in

full training in a few weeks.” Corluka, 24, is still likely to miss

out on the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie at White

Hart Lane in three weeks’ time. He should be available, however,

for both legs of Spurs’ quarter-final should they go through.

Corluka, who missed two months of last season with ankle ligament

damage, admitted he feared the worst straight after the challenge.

“As expected, after the leg cooled everything looks uglier. It’s

swollen and it really hurts me, even though the doctors assured me

that it isn’t so bad,” Corluka told Croatian newspaper Sportske

Novosti before his scan. “Luckily nothing is broken, but I will

still be out for at least four weeks. “When I first saw my ankle, I

was sure it would be at least two months, but luckily it is not so

bad.” Flamini’s challenge sparked rash tackles and frayed tempers

that resulted in Gennaro Gattuso head-butting Joe Jordan, but

referee Stephane Lannoy adjudged that Flamini’s tackle was only

worthy of a yellow card. UEFA announced today that Gattuso had been

charged with “gross unsporting conduct” although Milan managing

director Adriano Galliani defended the veteran midfielder today,

saying: “What he did was an unpleasant episode that was not good,

but he was heavily provoked.” Corluka’s replacement for the last 35

minutes of the match, Jonathan Woodgate, suffered a groin injury

during his time on the pitch and how long he will be out for should

be known in the next 48 hours. Spurs released a statement last

night saying that Woodgate had “sustained a strain of the left

adductor muscle”. It was a cruel blow for the former Real Madrid

defender, who was making his first appearance for the club after 15

months out with a long-standing groin injury. The club are

confident that Woodgate has not suffered a recurrence of his old

groin injury and is expected to be out for weeks, rather than

months.