Right on the heels of the Harry Kane contract announcement, Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino gave an update on Spurs’ injury situation heading into Saturday’s match against Swansea. There’s potentially good news: Pochettino says that long-injured center back Toby Alderweireld is back in full training with the Spurs squad and could be in line to make his return to the team when Spurs host the Swans.
In a press conference, Pochettino expounded on Toby’s progress:
“Toby was involved during the week in the training sessions,” said Pochettino. “We are very happy with his evolution but there’s still a small thing that we’re not sure about, and we need to assess tomorrow if he can be available.
“It’s the same problem that he got against West Bromwich. His evolution is very good. He’s now involved in all the training during the week but he still feels he is not 100 per cent. We will see tomorrow, we haven’t decided [if he will play] yet.”
Spurs have struggled since Toby went out with nerve damage to his knee against West Brom over a month ago. His absence necessitated Eric Dier be moved out of his preferred role as a defensive midfielder into the center of defense, and while he has been an adequate replacement, it has had a cascading effect on Tottenham’s midfield. Spurs have also missed Toby’s ability to effectively play from the back line and also ping long diagonal balls from deep, and while Victor Wanyama is a capable replacement in midfield for Dier, his skill set isn’t the same as Eric’s and has led Pochettino to continually tinker to find a suitable formation.
Toby’s return would come at a good time, too: after a disastrous November, Spurs have winnable league matches coming up against Swansea, Manchester United, Hull City, and Burnley that could help fans forget that last month ever happened.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Pochettino went on to confirm that while Danny Rose is back after his one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation, fellow left back Ben Davies and midfielder Erik Lamela are both still out. Davies is carrying an ankle injury, while Lamela is still dealing with a pernicious hip flexor injury that has kept him out for several weeks, and Pochettino expressed concern over Lamela’s injury prognosis.
“You know, it’s too difficult to explain because I’m not a doctor but we’re a little bit worried about his situation because his evolution is not in the way we expect.”