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Bale injury threatens to derail Tottenham's season

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Tottenham's season could hinge on a scan of Gareth Bale's ankle. The Welsh forward was carried off late in Tottenham's 2-2 Europa League quarter-final draw with Basel, and the club are hoping the injury is not as serious as it initially seemed. Tottenham hope to secure a top four place to qualify for next season's Champions League and Bale's presence will be crucial in the last month.

"Gareth has rolled over his ankle and we still need to get assessment,” manager Andre Villas-Boas said, although his grasp on medical specifics seemed a little shaky. “He has torn that ligament before and there's nothing to tear now. There is lots of swelling and the pain is obviously very, very big but there is a big possibility he is going to be able to make it for the Man City game and he will only miss the next two games.”

Bale was subdued in a difficult match for Tottenham. They conceded two goals in the first half to a lively Basel side and were fortunate to finish the match on level terms. Injury plagued Villas-Boas's side, with Aaron Lennon limping off and William Gallas suffering a calf tear.

The manager resisted the temptation to moan about his luck. "These injuries are part of the season," he said. "We have a big squad and the possibility to adapt. “We're still in the frame, we don't have to make any adaptations to play against Everton and we'll just wait until the boys are back to make us stronger.”

Bale has been Tottenham's talisman this season though, and long-suffering fans might wonder if this is the latest stroke of ill-luck that might deny them a top four finish. The manager offered reassurance. “We recognise the form the player is in but the squad will step up a level in his absence,” he said.

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