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).”