We've been wondering about how long Rafael van der Vaart will be out with his hamstring injury, but you don't have to wonder anymore. According to The Guardian, van der Vaart will be out for six weeks and will be unavailable to play until the middle of October. He sustained the injury in Tottenham's loss to Manchester City last week.
Rafa has been class since arriving at White Hart Lane, but his fitness has been an issue during all of that time as well. He took about a month to get to a point where he could regularly play 90 minutes and sustained a decent number of nagging injuries last season. He was often a late substitute in matches because of this. Everyone was hoping he could come in this season with a higher level of fitness, but this is a pretty bad start.
Initially, this probably means that Harry Redknapp will shift to a 4-4-2 formation with Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor up top. He has a plethora of other options, though, thanks to the retention of Giovani dos Santos and the purchase of Scott Parker. Gio can fit into Rafa's spot in almost a like for like, while Niko Kranjcar and Luka Modric are both competent in that advanced position as well. Harry could also choose to utilize a 4-3-3 (even though I doubt he does), which I plan to do a little writing on.
In any event, Rafa's out for six weeks, and it sucks.