Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino is thanking his lucky stars today that he's not talking about a much, much more serious injury for Nabil Bentaleb at his pre-match press conference. According to Poche, Bentaleb and the club were both "lucky" that the player escaped a horror tackle with only a minor injury.
While on international duty with Algeria during this long and tedious break, the midfielder got his first taste of full speed action since August. During a World Cup qualifier against Tanzania on Tuesday, Bentaleb was on the receiving end of what Pochettino described as a "very, very bad tackle" that forced him to be substituted.
The knock will force him to miss this weekend's return to Premier League action against West Ham United, he could be available as soon as Thursday's Europa League tie with Qarabag and/or next weekend's huge match against Chelsea.
"If you see it, you will see that it was a very, very bad tackle," Pochettino said. "It was to the same ankle that has kept him out this season. He was lucky and we were lucky that it's not a big issue. Maybe for Qarabag or Chelsea, he will be available.
"We feel sorry for Nabil because he was very close to being able to compete in the week that we played Arsenal before the international break. We agreed that it would be a good opportunity for him to compete again if he went away with his national team. This is one step back for him. It is difficult for him to be available for Sunday."
-Mauricio Pochettino; Source: The Guardian