Jermain Defoe is expected to play for Tottenham at Norwich tonight, thanks partly to a course of cutting-edge treatment that has helped speed his recovery from an abdominal injury.
The club have denied that the England forward's problem was serious, but he missed Sunday's FA Cup defeat at Leeds United, and there was sufficient concern last week to give Defoe an MRI scan and then what manager Andre Villas-Boas called "growth factor treatment and plasma platelet treatments."
The technique is legal and permitted by FIFA. It was used at Chelsea during the Jose Mourinho era, when Villas-Boas was a member of the scouting team. Villas-Boas has introduced the method at White Hart Lane since he became manager.
"We believe a lot in growth-factor treatment and plasma platelet treatments," said Villas-Boas. "It is a technique that we have been using since the beginning of the season. It is not common, but does happen from club to club. The player adhered to the treatment very, very well so we can move forward."
Villas-Boas ruled out any need for surgery, but with Emmanuel Adebayor the club's only other senior forward, it is apparent that Defoe will have to be monitored very carefully from now until the end of the season.