On October 25th, 2016 Spurs were knocked out of the League Cup with a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool. It was a tough, but largely forgettable, result. The more significant loss from the match was Erik Lamela.
Lamela came off the bench as a substitute, and has not appeared for Tottenham since. Since then he has struggled to recover from various forms of a hip-injury. He has had surgeries and setbacks, and Spurs are clearly being careful not to rush him back.
According to the Evening Standard, the club still expect him back by the end of 2017.
Lamela underwent surgery on his left hip in April and then his right a month later.
He has continued to work on his rehabilitation since then - first in Rome and at Tottenham’s training base this summer - but there has been speculation over his future after he was left out of the club’s Champions League squad this week.
Spurs are confident Lamela, who joined from Roma for a then club-record £25.7million in 2013 but who has started just 62 Premier League games, will make a full recovery.
Hip injuries are notoriously tricky, and Lamela’s ordeal has been no exception. The club has given timelines for his return before, but those have always been followed by another setback. Seeing him back and fit again by the end of 2017 would be wonderful, but we don’t know how realistic that is.
It’s a cliche at this point, but quality players coming back from an injury can be “like a new signing.” Most of Lamela’s minutes have gone to Moussa Sissoko, who has been very disappointing. It may not always be evident, but Mauricio Pochettino’s side miss Erik’s creativity going forward, his tirelessly nippy defending, and his deliveries from corner kicks.
Lamela hasn’t been included in Spurs’ squad for the Champions League Group Stage, which is more evidence that the best case scenario for his return is in late 2017.
The Argentinian has become a fan-favorite in his time in North London. Everyone wants to see his injury nightmare end with a fully-fit return to the senior team.