Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul is expected to be out for four months after undergoing surgery in France on a knee injury, the Premier League club has announced.

The French defender featured in Spurs’ opening day loss against Newcastle, but did not feature in last weekend’s 1 – 1 draw against West Brom. A statement on the club’s official website revealed that “Younes Kaboul has undergone knee surgery in France today [Thursday]. The France defender is expected to be sidelined for four months”.

Having earmarked Kaboul as one of his first-choice centre backs, the loss of the former Portsmouth player for such a lengthy period is a setback for manager Andre Villas-Boas.

The 26-year-old could miss as many as 18 league games and his absence may pave the way for captain Michael Dawson’s return to the team. The 28-year-old England international was linked with a move to Queens Park Rangers, but could now come back into Villas-Boas’s plans for Saturday’s home game against Norwich and beyond.

This period will include such vital fixtures as a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on 29th September, the visit of Chelsea to White Hart Lane on 20th October and a journey to the Etihad to battle current champions Manchester City on 11th November. Villas-Boas also has Jan Vertonghen, William Gallas and Steven Caulker available at centre-half.