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Tim's ready to rumble

English Barclays Premiership

Tim Sherwood is desperate to get back down to business after the longest break of his career. Our midfield goal machine was laid low when chronic groin problems finally got the better of him in February.

He underwent surgery for a double hernia, groin repair and abductor replacement - the 'full monty' as he described it - and was ruled out until the final match of the season.

Typically, he bounced back with a goal against Sunderland in a memorable finale at White Hart Lane and underlined just what we had missed in his absence.

That goal also took him into double figures - a magnificent tally from midfield especially after missing such a huge chunk of the season.

Sherwood admitted: "It has seemed a long lay-off for me because the injury was the longest lay-off I've had in my career. The injury feels fine now, but we've only started off gradually in training. The true test will be when we start playing games."

A championship-winning skipper with Blackburn Rovers in 1995, Sherwood's injury also put paid to any lingering chances of making the England squad for Euro2000.

"I was in the frame but there were a lot of other players in the frame as well who got left behind," said the 31-year-old. "At the end of the day I just want to do well for Spurs and international football comes after that."

Meanwhile, Sherwood remains cautiously optimistic for next season. He concluded: "I think the teams who have finished up there year-in, year-out are ahead of things and we've got to catch up, but we're going in the direction.

"Hopefully the new lads will gel very quickly, which I'm sure they will and we'll have a lot more strength in depth."

Photographs courtesy of Action Images Ltd.

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