Bentley could make Spurs return at Wembley
Published 22:48 13/04/12 By MirrorFootball
Tottenham's injury crisis is so serious that forgotten man David Bentley could make a dramatic comeback appearance in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.
Injuries to Younes Kaboul and Ledley King mean Tottenham have only two fit centre-halves - Ryan Nelsen and William Gallas - and manager Harry Redknapp also revealed this morning that Niko Kranjcar is facing a spell on the sidelines with a knee complaint.
Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson are unavailable with long-term ankle injuries and Louis Saha has a groin problem, leaving Redknapp struggling to find 18 players for his Wembley match-day squad after farming out the likes of Vedran Corluka, Sebastien Bassong and Steven Pienaar in January.
The 65-year-old is likely to turn to a number of his youngsters to fill the bench, but he also conceded that Bentley, who suffered a serious knee injury while on loan at West Ham in October - and has not played for Spurs since November 2010 - could feature this weekend.
"We haven't got loads of players and looking at the squad, there is every chance David Bentley could be back on the bench. He is in the running," Redknapp said.
"David hasn't even played a game this season. He has been injured since he went to West Ham, but I'm struggling to find seven subs."
Bentley's arrival at White Hart Lane for a then club record fee of £15million was surrounded by a great amount of hype.
The Peterborough-born winger was branded the "next David Beckham" after starring for Blackburn, but he fell down the pecking order following Redknapp's appointment in October 2008.
Probably the most memorable aspect of his Tottenham career under Redknapp was his decision to dump a tank full of water on his manager during a live interview which followed the club's qualification to the Champions League.
That move did not go down well with Redknapp, and Bentley was shipped out on loan to Birmingham, and then West Ham.
He was the subject of interest from npower League One side MK Dons in January, but Redknapp concedes he may have no other option than to call on the services of the 27-year-old in his team's run-in.
"I'm sure by the end of the season he will be back in the squad, or in the team. He is right back in the frame again," Redknapp said.
With Tottenham having won one of their last eight Barclays Premier League games, the injury crisis could have hardly come at a worse time.
The main worry for Redknapp is in defence, where Tottenham have looked extremely suspect of late.
Kaboul has been to France to see a knee specialist, King's knee problems are a real concern, and Dawson is out until the end of the season.
Nelsen was not expected to feature much after signing on a free transfer from Blackburn in February, but Redknapp insists he can rely on the 34-year-old, and Gallas, to shackle the likes of Juan Mata, Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres.
"I had five centre-halves in January but now those two are the last men standing," Redknapp said.
"But Ryan Nelsen wouldn't let me down, he's a fantastic competitor."