After suffering a hamstring injury against Manchester City at White Hart Lane, Rafael van der Vaart was initially expected to be absent from the Tottenham Hotspur lineup for up to two months of recovery.
After receiving the injury, Van der Vaart returned to the Netherlands to seek treatment from specialist Dick van Toorn. Van Toorn is the same specialist who helped Arjen Robben return to health during the 2010 World Cup, when Robben suffered a hamstring injury of his own just days prior to the tournament.
Earlier this week on his personal website, Van der Vaart commented on the injury, and expressed his disappointment in being left off of Tottenham's Europa League squad as a result.
"I still think it's a peculiar situation," he lamented. But he went on to state that he'll just have to focus on preparing for the Liverpool match instead.
"I'm pretty convinced I will be fit by then," Van der Vaart said. "Thanks to Rick van Toorn."
The news is guaranteed to spark many discussions revolving around Van der Vaart's place on Tottenham's squad. While Spurs have recently (and finally) found success in utilizing a 4-4-2 formation to make up for Van der Vaart's absence, his particular skill set generally prompts Spurs boss Harry Redknapp to play a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-1-1 instead.
So where does Van der Vaart fit into Redknapp's plan if he returns on Sunday? Is there a place for him in a 4-4-2 formation? Or will Spurs really be so quick to abandon the tactics that resulted in their only victory of the EPL campaign?
In any case, it's nothing short of great news to learn that Tottenham's 2010-11 top goal scorer will be back sooner rather than later.