West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola admits he is doing his best to try and get long-term injury victim Kieron Dyer match fit as soon as possible.
Dyer missed most of last season and a large slice of the current campaign after battling back to health following a double leg fracture against Bristol Rovers in August 2007.
The former Newcastle flyer is one of the most dangerous midfielders when on form, but Zola has conceded he is still some way short of a 90-minute outing despite four substitute appearances.
With Scott Park and Radoslav Kovac doubtful to feature against Spurs it had been thought Dyer could fill the void, but Zola knows it takes time for a player to fully recover following such a spell out of action.
"We are trying to make it as easy as possible for Kieron. It would not be good for him if I played him more than I am right now," said Zola.
"Every game we are trying to give him more time because we have faith in him. We know he is a good player. But he hasn't played for a long time and still cannot play 90 minutes.
"Every time we are increasing the time on the pitch and also working hard in training with him. I'm looking forward to the possibility of playing him a little bit longer. I want to see him on the pitch for a long time.
"He was one year out, came back and got injured again. Then he came back and got injured again. When that happens, because the muscles haven't been used for a long time, you pick up small injuries.
"Every time you have to work you are not 100%, you can't give it your best. If he gives 100% straight away he would get injured.
"Now, fortunately, he is progressing very well and I'm looking forward to playing him for 90 minutes. Obviously I don't remember him at his best but I'm hoping I can see it this year."