The Dutch midfielder has scored five goals in nine games since his £8 million signing from Real Madrid and his injury is the latest blow to manager Harry Redknapp’s hopes of securing a crucial victory against Rafael Benítez’s team at White Hart Lane. Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes is suspended and injuries rule out Michael Dawson, Ledley King and Jermain Defoe.
“The problem is I’ve probably got five of our very best players missing,” Redknapp said. “The goalkeeper is out, he is suspended, my two centre-halves are out, and there is also Van der Vaart and Defoe. They are key players right down the middle of the team, so it’s going to be very difficult.