Football - Parker: I've benefited from injury lay-off

Midfielder Scott Parker believes he has benefited from his enforced rest as he bids to help Tottenham's challenge in the second half of the season.

The 32-year-old England international made his first Barclays Premier League start of the season in last Sunday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United following an Achilles injury.

He said on tottenhamhotspur.com: "I think the break has really done me good and I feel fit and sharp. I touch wood when I say it, because football can come around and bite you on the backside, but I feel really good.

"On a personal level I feel fine, really good. I've had a few games now and I'm raring to go and get right back into it.

"I was out for five months but I was in the gym every day for the best part of four months of that time, doing conditioning and strength work.

"In a weird way I think my body needed that rest because I've played a lot of football for many years now and that was probably the longest I've been out for as long as I can remember."