Tottenham Hotspur defender Younes Kaboul must prove to his club he has fully recovered from the injury that sidelined him last season before he is offered a new contract.
The Frenchman was the club's standout defender throughout the 2011/12 season but suffered a severe injury just one game into the following campaign, one that would deny him the chance to play for the club for a an entire year.
After coming on as a late substitute in Tottenham's opening day victory over Crystal Palace Kaboul is yet to make his full Premier League return, but has started three games for the club in Europa League ties.
A thigh strain he suffered in his club's 2-0 win over Anzhi Makhachkala saw Kaboul taken off 20 minutes from time, another obstacle that is preventing the 28-year-old from seriously challenging the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Michael Dawson and Vlad Chiriches for a starting berth.
The Evening Standard report that the Spurs hierarchy are keen to offer Kaboul a new deal, but his prolonged absence through injury and having been hampered by minor knocks during his return games this season has made it difficult to evaluate his long term fitness.
"It's a bit of a problem because of his injury in the knee it has taken him time for his body to adapt to new positions on his run," Andre Villas-Boas said after Kaboul was forced off during that win over Anzhi.
"Because of that he's putting extra strain on his muscles and keeps getting small contractions that limit him finishing the games."
Kaboul, who initially joined Spurs in 2007 before leaving the club for Portsmouth in 2008 for two years, saw his initial comeback at the end of last season aborted when he suffered a strain during a game for the club's under-21 side in April.
And the former Auxerre defender himself admits he must be prepared for such setbacks before returning to full fitness. "I knew, as a soon as I had this (knee) injury, that this would happen one day, because when you're coming back from injury have always have something coming, with muscles," Kaboul told the Independent on Sunday earlier this month.
"So I wasn't very surprised but I was gutted also because I was nearly there to be fully fit."
With a Europa League trip to Sheriff Tiraspol and a Capital One Cup fourth round clash with Hull to follow the international break, Kaboul is likely to find himself with further chances to prove his fitness to the club in the coming weeks.
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