Tottenham Hotspur's Rafael van der Vaart fit after hamstring scare

Rafael van der Vaart
Van der Vaart was a peripheral figure before being substituted against Chelsea

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has said Rafael van der Vaart has not suffered a hamstring tear as first feared.

The 28-year-old was substituted during Spurs' 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Thursday and Redknapp had feared he could be out until the new year.

But speaking to Sky Sports News, Redknapp said: "He looks okay.

"He looks like he could be fit [to face Norwich on 27 December]."

After the Dutch forward was substituted at half-time, Redknapp's initial diagnosis was that the 28-year-old faced a few weeks out.

However, Redknapp revealed that a later check had provided positive news.

"We thought he had a hamstring [tear]. He went for a scan and it didn't show a tear," he said.

"I think he probably had a bit of cramp in there where he's had a problem before, a bit of tightness he felt maybe might go, so he took the precaution of not playing on with it."

The Dutch midfielder is likely to be key to any continued title challenge Spurs might make, the London club are currently nine points behind Manchester City with a game in hand.

However, Van der Vaart played down any title talk despite the club having moved third on the back of a run of only one defeat in 14 league matches.

"We are third and still have one game in hand. We're playing really good this season - you can see it in the big games, so it's going to be interesting," he said.

"But there's still a long way to go. We have to keep on winning our games and then we'll see."

Spurs will though be without winger Aaron Lennon for "weeks" after he injured his hamstring against Sunderland.

Lennon, 24, was absent for Thursday's draw with Chelsea at White Hart Lane, which saw Emmanuel Adebayor give Tottenham the lead after only eight minutes before Daniel Sturridge equalised for the visitors.

"We had no one who could play wide right to give us the balance we needed," said Redknapp.

"When Aaron Lennon is not out there, we haven't really got a wide right player."