Charlie Adam will face no retrospective punishment from the Football Association for the over-the-ball challenge on Paulinho that has put the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder out for at least four weeks with ankle ligament damage.

The Stoke City midfielder caught Paulinho shortly after coming on as a second-half substitute in his team's 3-0 defeat at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Tottenham were particularly vexed as it was not the first time that Adam had hurt one of their players, although immediately after the game the head coach Tim Sherwood said that as a midfield player Paulinho should expect some rough treatment.

"He was struggling at half-time, and he took just a little knock on top of that but that's what happens in the middle of the park, you're going to get kicked," he said.

The FA referred the incident to their three-man disciplinary panel, as they feared that the referee, Kevin Friend, had not benefited from a clear look at it. He took no action at the time. The panel, however, did not feel that the challenge merited a red card and so there will be no further action against Adam.

Two seasons ago, when Adam was playing for Blackpool, he effectively ended Gareth Bale's season with a studs-up challenge on the winger's ankle.

Then just four months later, having moved to Liverpool, Adam was branded a "coward" by Bale for another ligament rake during a pre-season game in Baltimore.