Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a huge blow in the wake of their 3-0 victory over Fulham in the English Premier League this weekend, with the news that star winger Gareth Bale is likely to miss up to two weeks due to a hamstring injury.
The winger left the match against the Cottagers in the 62nd minute following an awkward shot at goal, and manager Andre Villas-Boas revealed that the 23-year-old is likely to miss some action due to injury, although he should not be out for more than a couple of weeks.
Both [Gareth] Bale and [Michael] Dawson have suffered hamstring muscle injuries. One looks more serious than the other although both are controllable. With muscle injuries it's very difficult but it might keep him [Bale] out for one to two weeks.
He has suffered big, big injuries to his ankles before and sometimes he wants to protect himself a little bit. This player has suffered a lot in his career...
The Spurs boss also defended the winger for his simulation antics, which have seen him pick up his second yellow card for diving in as many weeks, saying that both cards were "unfair" and that because he "is so fast, it is difficult [for referees] to judge situations" (per BBC Sport).
Bale recently had a hand in all three goals in his side's big win over Liverpool last week, and has once again proved himself to be an invaluable asset this year.
The 23-year-old is the club's second-highest goal scorer this year behind Jermain Defoe with six and has the highest average match rating as well (per WhoScored).
But perhaps most important is his work rate down the left flank of the pitch, which sees him get well forward in attack and become one of the more deadly assist workers in the Premier League—creating an average of 2.3 goal-scoring opportunities per game this year.
The injury to Bale most likely means that someone like Gylfi Sigurdsson or even Clint Dempsey takes his place out on the left wing until he is fit to return, but with several key fixtures ahead in the next two weeks, it won't be all easy going for Andre Villas-Boas' men.
The North London club play Panathinaikos in the Europa League during the week before two tricky league fixtures see them away to Everton, who recently held Manchester City at home, and at home to Swansea City, who recently beat Arsenal at home.
Even with the likes of Sigurdsson or Dempsey replacing him, Bale will still be sourly missed by Spurs fans and players alike, with the club no doubt desperate for him to return to full fitness and continue on his strong season, having won their third successive EPL match.
How will Gareth Bale's injury affect Tottenham Hotspur?
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