Harry facing Woodgate quandary

Spurs centre-half unable to shake off groin problem

Woodgate: Injury nightmare

Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp is sweating on the long-term fitness of Jonathan Woodgate.

The England international continues to struggle with a niggling groin problem, which has restricted him to just three Premier League appearances this season.

The 29-year-old has been carrying the injury for some time, with Spurs' medical staff unable to get to the bottom of the issue.

Woodgate has already undergone several operations over the course of an injury-ravaged career and Redknapp is reluctant to send the centre-half back under the knife.

He has travelled to America for further treatment, which could see him back in action before the end of the season, but uncertainty continues to shroud his chances of making a full recovery.

"He's got three weeks of treatment to go," said Redknapp.

"We didn't feel we were getting where we wanted to get. He went to see someone who he really believes in, who got him fit before. You have to take that chance.

"Hopefully he'll come back at the end of the month and feels it has worked. If he has then he'll be back playing, if it hasn't worked we're struggling a bit with it."

Penalties

Meanwhile, in the wake of Jermain Defoe's failure from the spot against Leeds in the FA Cup on Saturday, Redknapp has also revealed that he is contemplating switching his penalty taker.

"He's a great goalscorer but his penalties haven't been so great," said the Spurs chief.

"When you place them, unless you can be accurate and stick them up there in the top corner like the boy Jermaine Beckford did for Leeds.

"Julian Dicks was a great penalty taker and Ray Stewart at West Ham used to smash them. The one Beckford took was world-class, right up in the top corner.

"There are plenty of people here. Tom Huddlestone can take them, Niko Kranjcar can take penalties very well. It wouldn't be a problem for those two. We will have to look at it.

"I haven't told Jermain yet but I will have a word with him. He would want to carry on because he loves scoring goals. You know what he's like."