White Hart Lane hero set to be out for a “while”.
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tom Huddlestone will undergo an ankle operation on Monday, manager Harry Redknapp has confirmed.
The 24-year-old has only made four appearances this season, with the most recent during the 5-1 defeat to Manchester City.
The England international has become a key figure in the Spurs squad in recent years following his move to White Hart Lane from Derby in July 2005.
He made more starts than any other outfield player two years ago as Tottenham finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League for the first time.
He has captained the north London team on several occasions last term, including the memorable Champions League group-stage clashes with Inter Milan.
Redknapp said: “He needs another operation. He’s already had one but there is still a problem with him. It’s a blow. He will be out for a while.”
Meanwhile, defender Ledley King has refused to rule out leaving Tottenham and playing for another club, although he admits it is unlikely.
He is out of contract at the end of the season and Redknapp has said he will not get a new one unless he plays enough games.
The Spurs boss is a huge fan but his chronic knee problems saw him limited to just six league appearances last season.
“This is my biggest season at Spurs yet,” said King. “It is the first time I have been in a situation like this – when my contract is up. So it is a big season.
“I have to prove I am still worth it. I can’t see myself pulling on a shirt for anybody else at this stage of my career – although a player can never say never.
“At the end of the day, I just want to stay fit and if I can play, let’s see what position that puts me in at the end of the season.