TOTTENHAM'S hopes of securing third place in the Premier League suffered a blow last night when captain Michael Dawson suffered suspected knee and ankle ligament damage which is likely to stop him playing again this season.
Dawson fell awkwardly on his left leg following an aerial challenge with Chris Beardsley in Spurs' 3-1 FA Cup win over Stevenage and looks destined to sit out the rest of the campaign.
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp said: "Michael has gone to hospital. It was his ankle and his knee. He has a pretty bad injury there.
"Looking at his injury it would be a miracle to think he is not (out for the season)."
The injury is not good news for Spurs, who already have injury problems at the back.
Ledley King's chronic knee problems make him a doubt for every match while William Gallas has not played for two months due to a calf injury, although he was on the bench last night.
That leaves Spurs with only two fully-fit centre-backs -- Younes Kaboul, and 35-year-old Ryan Nelsen, who gave away a penalty to allow Stevenage to take a shock lead in the fifth-round replay at White Hart Lane. "It is a big blow for us and for Michael," said Redknapp, who heads to Everton on Saturday.
"It's a big loss. He is a big professional. You want him around your team, that's for sure."
Joel Byrom's spot-kick put League One Stevenage on course for an upset before a brace from Jermain Defoe (pictured) and an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty allowed Spurs to progress to a quarter-final meeting with Bolton. Stevenage more than held their own and boss Gary Smith, a former Arsenal scout, was pleased with his team's performance. "I did dream for 20 minutes," he said. "It was a great start. It was just a shame we couldn't go in at half-time in front, but I thought we acquitted ourselves well."