Gareth Bale's foot injury is expected to keep him out of action for the rest of the season, Tottenham sporting director Damien Comolli has confirmed.
Bale, the 18-year-old Wales left-back, suffered a strained ligament following a tackle from Birmingham's Fabrice Muamba at the start of December and has only just had his cast removed.
Comolli said: 'Gareth's injury was reviewed and although the surgeon was happy with the results of the x-rays, he does not anticipate Gareth being able to play any further part in this season.
'We are all disappointed for Gareth, but he is still very young and his long-term fitness is our priority.'
Bale's injury made signing a left-back one of Comolli's priorities during the January transfer window, and Gilberto was brought in for around £2million despite the deal being held up and appearing to collapse.
With Benoit Assou-Ekotto also out for the rest of the campaign, Young-Pyo Lee has played there for much of the season but he favours his right foot.
Pascal Chimbonda was selected at left-back against Manchester United at the weekend and midfielders Jamie O'Hara and Teemu Tainio have also had spells there.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Woodgate has been credited with bringing a calmness to the Spurs defence in the last two games.
Fellow new signing Alan Hutton, after his debut against United, said: 'I thought we looked solid. The defence is looking good in my eyes, so, hopefully we can go from strength to strength.'