Bale and Dawson return to Tottenham training

Gareth Bale could be fit to return to the Tottenham Hotspur starting line-up against Stoke City on Saturday after the Wales international returned to training, the Guardian has reported.

Bale was injured on December 1 against Fulham and has missed matches against Panathinaikos in the Europa League and Everton and Swansea City in the Premier League while recovering from a hamstring problem.

In Bale’s absence, Spurs have beaten both Panathinaikos to progress to the next round of the Europa League and Swansea to hold on to fourth place in the Premier League, but were beaten by Everton despite holding a one-goal lead in the dying seconds of the game. Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic struck before full-time to briefly put the Toffees into fourth until Spurs’ win over Swansea returned them to the Champions League places.

Dawson has also returned to training following a hamstring injury of his own, also suffered in the 3-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Dawson was replaced by William Gallas in the 17th minute, while Bale lasted until the 62nd until he had to be withdrawn in favour of Gylfi Sigurdsson. Goals from Sandro and a Jermain Defoe double gave Spurs the win.

Also approaching a return to full fitness are midfielder Scott Parker and left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas confirmed.

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