AVB admits to Bale 'gamble'
Andre Villas-Boas concedes he took a "risk" in fielding Gareth Bale in Tottenham's pre-season friendly against the LA Galaxy and has offered an update on knocks suffered by Rafael van der Vaart and Kyle Walker.
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Bale was a surprise inclusion in the Spurs side which opened their US tour in Los Angeles after being ruled out of contention for a place in the Team GB squad for the Olympics with a back injury.
The Welshman scored in the 1-1 draw and while Villas-Boas admits starting the winger was a risk he is keen to get Bale as much playing time as possible ahead of the 2012/13 Premier League campaign.
"He came back to us during this week," said Villas-Boas.
"He was on alert for us to control the amount of effort that he put in. Gareth is, of course, young and physically a beast, so he was able to put in the effort and we extended that because we want him to complete a certain amount of minutes before we start the season.
"You could say that we took a risk. Ten minutes into the game he was stretching himself, so he was feeling a little bit of muscle tightness but that was controllable.
"I just welcome his recovery, that's the most important thing for me. To have a player of this dimension available is fantastic."
While the return of Bale is an undoubted boost to Tottenham's pre-season plans, the sight of Van der Vaart and Walker hobbling off has offered cause for concern.
Villas-Boas is, however, confident that both men will soon be back in contention.
"I think we are looking at three or four days for both, hopefully," he said.
"Reassessment is always important and I wouldn't like to extend myself without the full knowledge of both injuries.
"But Van der Vaart felt during the week a tightness in his adductor and Kyle twisted slightly his ankle. I think both in three or four days should be back."