Redknapp: World Cup hopeful Lennon not ready
LONDON (AP) -Aaron Lennon's chances of making England's World Cup squad are uncertain after Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said Saturday that the winger is still not ready to return from four months out with a groin injury.
Lennon had started to become a regular pick on the right of England's midfield formerly occupied by David Beckham but has not played since December.
"He's training but he's had three or four setbacks,'' Redknapp said. "We've got to take it day by day with him. He'll join in this week and do some stuff with us but he's not ready to play just yet.''
The 23-year-old Lennon played in England's last two qualifiers before missing November's friendly loss to Brazil because of injury.
The speedy winger was used as a substitute at the 2006 World Cup and has played 15 times for England. He is a strong contender for a starting spot if he recovers in time to convince England coach Fabio Capello he is fit.
Beckham had dropped to a substitute role even before he was ruled out of the June 11-July 11 World Cup in South Africa with an Achilles injury, while no other contender for the position has impressed consistently this season.
Redknapp said he was hopeful that Lennon could appear in at least some of Tottenham's final four matches of the Premier League season, against Manchester United, Bolton, Manchester City and Burnley.
"He was in good form for England but we could do with getting him back for the run in,'' Redknapp said.
Tottenham had hoped to have Lennon back in action for last weekend's FA Cup semifinal against Portsmouth but he missed the match and Spurs lost 2-0 to the relegated club.
While Lennon missed this week's 2-1 wins over Arsenal and Chelsea, Tottenham captain Ledley King played in the former before sitting out Saturday's victory because of his chronic knee problem.
Redknapp said the central defender could still be an asset to England's World Cup squad.
"He needs six days to recover between games,'' Redknapp said. "He'd get six days at the World Cup.''
England plays the United States in its opening game on June 12 before completing its first-round group against Algeria on June 18 and Slovenia on June 23.
Redknapp also said stand-in captain Michael Dawson deserved consideration for a squad berth.
"He's an old-fashioned English center half,'' Redknapp said. "You couldn't go wrong with Michael Dawson in your World Cup squad.''