Defoe injury gives Keane chance

ROBBIE KEANE’S Tottenham career was yesterday handed a lifeline after Jermain Defoe was ruled out for six weeks with an ankle injury.

Defoe could be seen on crutches and wearing a protective boot on his right foot at Spurs’ training ground yesterday.

And that could open the door for Republic of Ireland captain Keane to have a run in the side.

Keane, who scored for his country in the midweek win over Andorra has been out of favour at Spurs, and spent the second half of last season on loan at Celtic. However, despite widespread speculation surrounding his future, he did not leave the club during the summer transfer window.

Defoe was hurt in England’s 3-1 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday, just days after Tottenham team-mate Michael Dawson suffered a knee injury in the England win over Bulgaria that will rule him out for eight weeks.

“Even if it’s a bad sprain, you’re still talking about six weeks or so, because it’s a nasty one,” Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said.

Meanwhile, Coventry manager Aidy Boothroyd has held clear-the-air talks with Keiren Westwood but has accepted the Republic of Ireland international is unlikely to sign a new contract.

Goalkeeper Westwood, out of contract next summer, was dropped for the club’s previous npower Championship clash against Millwall having been told to sign a new deal or sit in the stands.

The highly sought-after 25-year-old responded in midweek by insisting he would not be bullied into putting pen to paper in what became an increasingly public war of words.

But the pair met yesterday to draw a line under the issue and Westwood is now back in contention and likely to start against the Foxes.

However, how long he stays at the Ricoh Arena remains to be seen, with chairman Ray Ranson in June insisting “he won’t be leaving this club for nothing, that’s for certain”, meaning a January bidding war by Barclays Premier League clubs remains the likely outcome.

Boothroyd said: “We’ve have a good chat this morning, a clear-the-air chat. Keiren has come out and said how he feels and I have total respect for that, I won’t be hitting him with a big stick.

“Every player has a right to run down their contract, I would love him to stay. It is his right and, as he said in the press, he’s going to give 100% up until the end of his contract, and I trust him that he’ll do that.”

Westwood, who has never said he wants to leave, stressed his full commitment to City, adding: “It’s got very messy these last few weeks and it’s not what I’ve wanted and I’m not sure it’s what the gaffer wants. We’re going to try and move forward together.

“There’s no point going back and forth arguing, we want to do what’s best for the club.”


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