Erik Lamela has had a frustrating season. He’s been dealing with a nasty hip injury that just doesn’t seem to be healing and hasn’t taken the pitch since Spurs bowed out of the EFL Cup against Liverpool in late October.
Now according to the Guardian, Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has sent him to Rome for additional treatment with his old physio at Roma, both because he has history with Roma’s physio and because he probably needs a change of scenery.
“Lamela has gone to Rome; he has strong links there. He believes and we believe that it’s important to change a little bit – and in his mind. He asked to finish his recovery time there and the club, us, the staff believe that that situation is right.
“It’s always difficult for the player who spends a lot of time [out] – more time than he believes and we believe. With the energy of the team – sometimes, he’s frustrated that he cannot be involved and today, it’s only him that is out of the group.
“He has a special link with a physio in Rome. And I say thank you to Roma for opening the door to him and trying to recover the player. Our staff are there with him, too.”
Poch is implying that this isn’t just about the injury, though that’s certainly part of it. The Guardian suggests that Lamela has been feeling “frustrated and a little isolated” as he continues to recuperate within the squad and watches Tottenham play without him. It sounds like Poch is hoping a little Italian sunshine might help to lift his spirits, and that working with his old physio might finally be the breakthrough that’s needed to help him recover from his injury.
Lamela’s hip injury, which was originally considered minor, is troubling. Everything we’ve read suggests that it wasn’t supposed to take this long to heal, which brings up worries that this might be some sort of degenerative condition or a larger issue. Spurs are coping admirably without him, but Lamela is still one of the best pressers and passers on the team and Tottenham are better with him than without him.
Poch suggested that if Lamela responds well, he could return to full training “in a few weeks.” That’s not optimistic and is counter to some of the lines coming out of the club more recently which suggested he was due back to the first team squad imminently. This is shaping up to be a lost season for Erik, much like his first season with Spurs which was derailed by a long-term back injury. Hopefully a little R&R in Italy can help him push that boulder over the hill.