Tim Sherwood said a few days ago that Erik Lamela would be out for 'weeks', but declined to put a timetable on his recovery. According to The Guardian, that timetable is currently being set at six weeks. They also have quotes from Sherwood, who claims that Lamela's back injury was picked up while trying to compensate for the thigh injury that initially caused him to miss time and was only expected to keep him out for a couple of weeks.
Here's some of what Sherwood had to say.
"Lamela had a thigh strain and he was over-compensating for that, so now he has got a problem in his back, which we are assessing and we are not too confident ... We signed him for the long term and we are sure that, in the end, he will come good for Tottenham and be a crowd favourite here. We are all big fans of him when we see him in training. It is just difficult to adjust to a different style of play and a different language. I'm sure Erik will pick it up. By the time he is fit, he will be fluent."
It's nice to know that the manager is behind Lamela and rates him, even if that manager doesn't seem terribly secure in his own future job prospects. Lamela will have at least a handful of games to impress Sherwood and those above him at Spurs before the end of the season, and we can only hope that he makes the most of them.
Selling Lamela at a massive loss or loaning him out next season would be a disaster. It's important for the immediate and long-term future of the club that he comes good, and based on what I've seen from him at Roma and River Plate, I think he will. It's been a disappointing campaign for Lamela, but I think we'll see a lot more out of him in the 2014-15 season. Hopefully he gets a run of games at the end of the season and gets his doubters feeling better about his prospects for the future.