Spurs boss Redknapp hopes to return for Villa but Van der Vaart is a doubt

TOTTENHAM have received mixed medical bulletins ahead of Monday’s clash against Aston Villa, with manager Harry Redknapp optimistic of returning to the dugout but top scorer Rafael van der Vaart an injury doubt.

Redknapp has missed the last two games after undergoing heart surgery but is increasingly hopeful of being able to resume charge of the team, ahead of schedule, in their next Premier League match.

First team-coach Joe Jordan said: “He’s very keen and is optimistic there’s a chance of that happening.”

The Spurs boss, 64, was initially expected to be out until next month, following the operation to ease blockage in his coronary arteries.

Jordan added: “It will depend on his conversation with the medical people who are giving him advice. He is feeling good and sounds good. There’s a possibility he would be back for the Villa game and maybe he will pop in during the lead up to that match. If Harry comes to the game he will be on the bench.”

The north Londoners have coped adequately in his absence, with the benefit of their 3-1 win over Fulham, which kept them in fifth place, far outweighing a 1-0 Europa League defeat at Rubin Kazan.

But their hopes of maintaining pressure on the top four have suffered a setback after Van der Vaart picked up a hamstring injury while on international duty this week.

The Dutchman, who has scored seven goals in 10 appearances for Spurs this season, will have a late fitness test before the Villa fixture at White Hart Lane.

Jordan said: “It is important he doesn’t get a recurrence of what he had when he was away.”