Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor is racing to get back in time from the Africa Cup of Nations with fellow forward Jermain Defoe ruled out for as long as three weeks for the striker-light club.
Fourth-placed Spurs host improving Newcastle United in Saturday's early Premier League kick-off with Adebayor set to be thrown straight into the team even though he has still not left Africa after Togo were knocked out on Sunday.
"We are trying to establish the best flight connections for him," coach Andre Villas-Boas told reporters on Thursday. "He will be selected for sure."
Spurs fans were shocked the club failed to bring in another forward in the January transfer window after a raft of activity on deadline day in previous years.
A move for Brazil's Internacional forward Leandro Damaio hit the buffers to leave them with two recognised strikers and attacking midfielder Clint Dempsey, who managed 17 league goals for Fulham last term.
Dempsey could well be jet-lagged for Saturday as he is flying back from the Americas having played and scored in the United States' 2-1 World Cup qualifying defeat in Honduras on Wednesday.
Defoe, who turned his ankle in last weekend's Gareth Bale-inspired 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion, could at least return quicker than Spurs had feared.
"It's good news in the end because he could have had further damage to his ankle," Villas-Boas added.
"We will see him back within two to three weeks hopefully."
Young forward Harry Kane has returned from an inauspicious loan spell at Norwich City and does not seem ready for the first team as Spurs supporters fret about letting the fourth and final Champions League spot slip with Defoe out. Everton are three points behind.
The North Londoners finished fourth last term under Harry Redknapp but missed out on Europe's top club competition when Chelsea, who ended up sixth in the English top flight, triumphed in the Champions League to gain automatic re-entry as winners.comments