Tim Sherwood
Sherwood is set to welcome back four players.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood has been handed a significant boost with news of the imminent return of four players as the season reaches the sharp end.

Younes Kaboul, Sandro, Jan Vertonghen and Paulinho have been out for between two weeks and two months but all featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly against West Ham United on Thursday.

While Sandro played the opening 45 minutes, Paulinho, who netted in a 3-0 win, Kaboul and Vertonghen were all replaced after 60 minutes.

Despite Erik Lamela remaining out with injury, the close return of the four players are a big plus to Sherwood whose Tottenham side are closing in on securing Champions League football for next season.

Andros Townsend was unable to return against Swansea City but featured for the Under-21's against Newcastle United last week and the England winger is hopeful of being cleared to play.

Kaboul, who missed the whole of last season with a knee problem, has made nine appearances this season, the last coming in the 6-0 demolition by Manchester City but has been unavailable for selection since Sherwood replaced Andre Villas-Boas.

Sandro has missed the last five weeks with a calf injury picked up in the 5-0 loss to Liverpool in December and was held back from returning against Swansea last weekend.

Vertonghen, who has played 14 times in the league for Tottenham, has been out for nearly seven weeks with an ankle problem.

"Happy to be back and played 60min today! Felt well, now looking forward to the next Prem.League game! Thx for your messages during recovery!" the Belgian wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile Paulinho, out since the win over Stoke City, is set for an early return to action after being ruled out for a month after a challenge from Charlie Adam.

Having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Arsenal, Tottenham don't play again until the mid-week visit of City to White Hart Lane, giving Sherwood license to give his injured players time to recover.

With only goal difference separating Tottenham from the top four the returns come at the ideal time for a Spurs side who have won five league games out of six under Tim Sherwood and claimed a club record fifth away win in a row against Swansea.