Redknapp takes Woodgate gamble

BY foxsports • February 1, 2011

Redknapp had hoped the England centre-back would not require an operation on the groin injury which his manager thinks stems from his long-standing knee problems. But Ledley King will be out of action for some time as he prepares to undergo a groin operation on Wednesday, meaning that Redknapp may end up pairing his only fully fit centre-half Sebastien Bassong with long-term absentee Woodgate. Redknapp, who is also without injured duo Tom Huddlestone and Gareth Bale, admits his defensive injury crisis means he has no other option than to gamble on Woodgate despite the defender not having played since November 2009. Redknapp added: "We have some key, very important players missing. "Michael Dawson got sent off at the weekend, Younes Kaboul was in great form and then he was sent off for against Newcastle at home and now he has to have an operation on his knee so he's out. "Gareth Bale and Tom Huddlestone are both missing. They are big players for us so we have been pushed into pushing Woodgate in way ahead of what I should be because we have problems with the squad." Woodgate returned to light training and has played in two practice matches against Charlton and QPR last month. Redknapp acknowledges, therefore, that fielding the former Real Madrid man at Ewood Park on Wednesday would be a risky move. "It's a massive gamble for me the club and for Woody for sure," Redknapp said. "He has not played a game yet of any significance but he is in my mind because he is such a fantastic player. "I'm dreaming that he can come in and be somewhere near what he was straight away which is not easy."

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