Tottenham Hotspur's season was on the brink last night when Basel seized the initiative in the clubs' Europa League quarter-final and Gareth Bale suffered a nasty ankle injury in the game's dying embers.
Spurs fought back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane thanks to strikes from Emmanuel Adebayor and Gylfi Sigurdsson against the superior Swiss side, but there was further cause for concern when when David Degen accidentally stood on Bale's right ankle, and the Welshman was carried off on a stretcher.
Bale will today have a scan as the club anxiously waits on the extent of the damage, although since last month's north London derby victory Spurs have shown symptoms of their annual collapse.
Defeats at Liverpool and at home to Fulham came either side of an ignominious 4-1 loss at Internazionale, with Adebayor's away goal the sole difference in their last 16 Europa League tie. An impressive 2-1 win at Swansea on last week halted the rot, but with the talismanic Bale set to be sidelined, the fear is Spurs could slip out of the Champions League berths again.
Bale writhes in agony after suffering an ankle injury
Tottenham were reduced to nine men when Bale was taken off after William Gallas withdrew injured after André Villas-Boas had made his three substitutions. Aaron Lennon was also lost to injury in the first period, although Villas-Boas vowed Bale, who has been linked with a transfer in the summer, had not played in a Spurs shirt for the last time.
"There is lots of swelling and the pain is obviously very, very big," the Tottenham manager said last night.
"There is a big possibility he is going to be able to make it for the Man City game [on 21 April] and he will only miss the next two games, but we can only give you that assurance tomorrow.
"Gareth will definitely play again this season."
Slack marking from Kyle Naughton allowed Valentin Stocker and Fabian Frei to give Swiss champions Basle a 2-0 lead, before Adebayor and Sigurdsson struck either side of the pause.
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more