• Premier League

Vertonghen could miss start of season

ESPN staff
July 26, 2013
Jan Vertonghen could be out for two to three weeks © Getty Images

Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen is likely to miss the start of the season after suffering an ankle ligament injury during Wednesday's friendly defeat by Sunderland in rain-lashed Hong Kong.

Vertonghen, 26, was carried off after the incident, and could now miss up to three weeks - potentially ruling him out of the Premier League opener at newly-promoted Crystal Palace on August 18.

The Belgium international defender slipped on the rain-soaked surface shortly after coming on as a second-half substitute.

"He's going to be most likely out of training for two to three weeks," Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas said. "Hopefully we can have him back sooner.

"He is just about on the deadline for the first game of the season. Hopefully, we can see a bigger recovery time with him."

With further heavy rain forecast for Hong Kong, Tottenham must still play an Asia Trophy third-place play-off game against South China.

"The conditions are extremely poor, but there is nothing we can do about it," Villas-Boas said. "We've lost one player through injury - and, if I can be sincere, I would prefer not to go ahead.

"It's our responsibility - and if the authorities decide to go ahead, we will play the game."

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