With a legal battlenover the kids on her hands, will she make it on the road?

Britney Spears is due to start her 44-date Circus tour in three weeks but those close to her fear she’s in no fit state to go ahead.

The tour kicks off in New Orleans on 3 March, followed by back-to back dates covering most of America and ending at London’s O2 Arena.

Britney’s like a wound-up spring waiting to go off,’ a source tells Now. ‘She’s still taking medication to get through each day.

‘She’s so stressed about the kids and so nervous about the tour that it’s making her physically ill. The only way she can release that tension is to scream at whoever’s closest.

‘She locks herself in her room or the bathroom and frequently breaks down in tears.’

Two weeks ago Britney, 27, announced on her blog that sons Sean, three, and Jayden, two, would accompany her on tour but days later Kevin Federline‘s lawyer declared that, although a deal was close, it wasn’t actually agreed as yet.

To make things worse, her self-styled former manager Sam Lutfi, 33, has filed papers to sue Britney and her parents for libel and defamation. Her dad Jamie, 56, had already issued an injunction to stop Sam going anywhere near his daughter, while her mum Lynne, 53, once claimed in court papers that Sam had ground prescription medication into Britney’s food.

‘The Sam Lutfi episode has been another blow – she doesn’t have room in her head for all this at such a busy time for her,’ adds our source.

See the full story about Britney Spears in Now magazine dated 16 February 2009 – out now!