Glenn Hoddle revealed on Friday that the Irish star asked to join in the main training session even though he was just meant to take a gentle 'warm down' after international duty, such was his desire to get back out there.
And that desire was on show from the first minute against Bolton - darting runs, pace, trickery, hunger for goals - so much so Glenn said afterwards that, in the first 20 minutes, it looked like he wanted to win the game on his own.
In the end his two goals were the main course of the victory with another sublime Simon Davies' strike the icing of the cake in the final minute.
Add the successful return of an energetic Steve Carr and Gus Poyet and going back into the top three and it was a happy 35,000 going home on Sunday evening.
But despite our dominance territorially and a host of chances, it was far from plain sailing. Bolton's central defensive pair of ex-Spur Gudni Bergsson and Mike Whitlow were rocks, Youri Djorkaeff flitted in and out dangerously and Michael Ricketts was a battering ram up front that Dean Richards and Chris Perry stood up to impressively.
Keane was involved in everything early on, twice leaving defenders standing before shooting wide, providing chances for Matty Etherington and Teddy Sheringham and heading Davies' deep cross wide, all inside 25 minutes.
However, Bolton had the best chance in that opening spell and Ricketts should have done better when Ricardo Gardner's dink found him in front of goal, but he missed the target.
Jamie Redknapp's inventive free-kick almost broke the deadlock before the break as he flicked the ball up and dipped a volley inches wide with Jussi Jaaskelainen rooted to the spot but it was goalless at half-time.
Carr almost capped his return with a goal three minutes into the second half only for Jaaskelainen to tip his shot onto the crossbar and the keeper was there again to deny Sheringham from Keane's lovely reverse pass, out sharply to block from close range.
Then another warning. Bolton broke quickly, Djorkaeff picked out Ricketts and the big striker again should have done better, shooting wide one-on-one.
Two minutes later we were ahead with a picture book goal. After a spell of possession, Goran Bunjevcevic broke forward on the left side of the area, planted a cross on Davies' foot, the Welsh star cushioned his volley back across goal and Keane pounced to volley home from close range, his first goal at the Lane.
To their credit, Bolton hit back within five minutes. Kevin Nolan spotted Djorkaeff's run and the Frenchman finished well, flicking his shot across Keller with the outside of his right foot.
How would that affect us? It didn't. Poyet came on for Etherington after 70 minutes and we were ahead two minutes later. Steffen Freund played a lovely ball inside to Davies, he found Poyet and the midfielder's first touch in this Premiership season allowed Keane to finish almost identically to his opener.
We went from strength to strength in the final period. Sheringham had two chances, Poyet's shot deflected a fraction wide and after Richards' fine block to deny Bergsson, the energetic Davies finished it in the last minute.
He led a breakaway down the right, fed Sheringham and continued his run into the box where he picked up the return pass and flashed a low shot across Jaaskelainen and in off the post.
MINUTE-BY-MINUTE GUIDE TO THE ACTION
1min: Ricketts brought down on edge of box, Djorkaeff curled free-kick tamely over.
3mins: Raking pass from Bunjevcevic found Sheringham wide right, slipped it into supporting Carr but shot charged down.
8mins: Keane burst into the box, nutmegged the last man but Bergsson got across just in time.
10mins: Nolan dipping volley saved comfortably by Keller.
12mins: Keane cut in from left, beat two players before firing over from 20 yards.
13mins: Delightfully weighted dink from Gardner between Perry and Carr almost steered home by Ricketts.
15mins: Great pass from Sheringham released Keane, right corner of box, Etherington just failed to get onto low cross.
18mins: Keane threaded pass through to Sheringham, touch took him away from goal and Jaaskelainen able to cut out cross.
22mins: Redknapp made chance out nothing with brave tackle, pass to Keane on edge of box but shot blocked well by Whitlow.
24mins: Davies magnificent spot from tight to right touchline to pick out Keane, always under pressure, headed wide from 15 yards.
33mins: Sheringham drove low pass to breaking Davies, Charlton back to make last-ditch tackle.
40mins: CLOSE. Inventive free-kick from Redknapp, flicked the ball up and fired dipping volley inches wide from 22 yards.
41mins: GOAL DISALLOWED. Redknapp's scuffed shot found way through to Sheringham, clearly offside before he tucked it away.
43mins: Etherington skipped past Barness, best cross of game cleared well by combination of Jaaskelainen and Whitlow as Richards went in.
44mins: YELLOW. Nolan for tug on Etherington as he threatened to break into box.
45mins: Decent move as Bunjevcevic clipped a ball into Davies, left side of area, he nodded back for Sheringham to volley over from 25 yards.
Half-time: Spurs 0-0 Bolton
48mins: WOODWORK. Carr latched onto loose ball 20 yards out, fierce volley tipped agonisingly onto the top of the bar and to safety by Jaaskelainen.
50mins: Superbly timed tackle from Bergsson denied Keane as he broke into the box.
54mins: SAVE. Keane's lay-off found Sheringham in space in the box, Jaaskelainen out quickly to block effort.
55mins: CHANCE. Djorkaeff released Ricketts clear on Keller, left side, but missed the target.
57mins: GOAL. Superb move. Bunjevcevic moved forward, faked a shot to clip ball to Davies at far post, delightful cushioned volley to Keane who buried the chance from six yards. 1-0.
62mins: GOAL. Nolan clever ball into Djorkaeff, left hand side of box, finished well with right foot across Keller. 1-1.
70mins: SUB. Poyet on for Etherington.
72mins: GOAL. All started from lovely pass from Freund inside to Davies. He played in Poyet whose first touch was to set up Keane's second goal, clinical again from close range. 2-1.
73mins: SUB. Okocha for Djorkaeff.
74mins: Sheringham through, right side of area, went around Jaaskelainen but angle to tight to shoot, beat keeper again but attempted pass to Poyet cleared.
76mins: SUB. Holdsworth for Campo.
81mins: CHANCE. Carr picked out Sheringham far post, always stretching for the ball, headed over from 10 yards.
86mins: Poyet shot deflected a foot wide.
88mins: Brilliant block tackle from Richards denied Bergsson
89mins: GOAL. Break led by Davies, wide to Sheringham, in space, he picked out Davies again, far side of area, who shot across Jaaskelainen and in off the post. 3-1.
Line-ups: Spurs: Keller, Carr, Freund, Bunjevcevic, Perry, Sheringham, Redknapp, Keane, Etherington (Poyet, 70), Davies, Richards. Subs: Hirschfeld, Doherty, Acimovic, Iversen.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Whitlow, Bergsson, Gardner, Djorkaeff, Farrelly, Nolan, Campo (Holdsworth, 76), Ricketts, Barness, Charlton. Subs: Poole, Frandsen, Okocha, Armstrong.
Robbie Keane produced an inspirational display to help break down resilient Bolton and take us up to third in the Premiership.