Pavlyuchenko in fitness race

Roman Pavlyuchenko celebrates his late goal to make sure of the points for Harry Redknapps side.
Image: Pavlyuchenko: Back problem

Roman Pavlyuchenko is hoping to shrug off a back problem in time for Tottenham's clash with Blackburn.

Spurs striker hoping to recover from back problem

Roman Pavlyuchenko is hoping to shrug off a back problem in time for Tottenham's clash with Blackburn this weekend. The Russia striker was forced off at half-time on Tuesday as Spurs played out a 1-1 draw with Sunderland at White Hart Lane. He is undergoing acupuncture in a bid to ease manager Harry Redknapp's striking worries after the injury was revealed to be not too serious. "I felt the pain around the 25th minute after clashing with an opponent," said Pavlyuchenko. "My back cramped up and I was in a lot of pain. "In the dressing room, I told the doctor and had a massage, but it didn't help. "But, on Wednesday, I had a check-up which, thank God, revealed only a muscle spasm."

Intensive treatment

Redknapp is still without Jermain Defoe, while Robbie Keane remains a doubt with an ankle problem, leaving only Peter Crouch definitely available. Pavlyuchenko is eager to recover in time to play a part on Saturday and is also desperate to feature for his country in their friendly game against Belgium next Wednesday. He is doing everything in his power to get fit, saying: "I'm walking gingerly, but I'm being intensively treated with acupuncture and massages. "I hope that, after a couple of days, everything will return to normal. "Then nothing will stop me from coming to the national team for the game against Belgium. "But I can only say that with confidence closer to the weekend."

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