Spurs get fitness boost in defense

Michael Regan

Central defense shouldn't be so thin going forward.

Tottenham Hotspur have been forced to use makeshift options in defense recently, but they should be back to full strength before the end of the season. Both Michael Dawson and Vlad Chiriches returned to training on Tuesday and should be fit shortly. However, as Tim Sherwood noted, it'll take longer for Vlad to return than Dawson.

"Vlad has been out for a while and we have to make sure we take our time with him. We're pleased to see him back in training this week and we're looking to drop him back into Friday's Under-21 game against Arsenal at the Lane. He's trained well and he hasn't felt any reaction to his back, so we're well pleased with that. Michael trained at the end of last week as well, we're pleased with his progress and most of all, delighted we've more players from which to select from."

Since Dawson also trained at the end of last week and Sherwood didn't specifically mention that he's going to play in the Under-21 game, it seems likely that he'll just make the 18-man squad on the weekend at Anfield. And given the on again, off again fitness issues of Younes Kaboul and the shaky form of Jan Vertonghen, it wouldn't be terribly shocking to see him start.

As for Vlad, hopefully he doesn't suffer any kind of setback on Friday. He's been inconsistent -- though more good than bad -- and could do with a run of games in the Premier League before the end of the season.

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