It sure didn’t look great when Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele rolled his ankle against Wolverhampton this past weekend. The Belgian was substituted in the seventh minute for Son Heung-Min and had to be helped off the field, and did not appear in Tuesday’s Champions League win over PSV.
Now it looks as though Spurs fans won’t be seeing him on the pitch until the new year. Belgian paper Het Nieuwsblad first reported that Dembele will miss at least six weeks with damage to the ligaments of his ankle, and that prognosis was later confirmed by Mauricio Pochettino in his weekly press conference.
Spurs injury news: Mousa Dembele's ankle scans have confirmed ligament damage to right ankle and he is unlikely to be available until the New Year. Dier (thigh) and Wanyama (knee) have returned to training with the squad. Rose (groin) and Vertonghen (hamstring) – continuing rehab— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) November 8, 2018
Here’s what Mauricio Pochettino said about Dembele’s injury:
“We hope that from the beginning of January he will be ready. After it’s about the evolution, it’s very dynamic the evolution and how he’s going to recover. Always it’s about the patient, the player, and how he’s going to react after the injury. We hope he’ll be back as soon as possible and early in January to help the team.”
That’s the bad news. The good news is that both Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama have returned to training after sustaining injuries of their own that kept them out of Spurs’ past two matches. That’s a relief, as Spurs are down to bare bones in midfield — Pochettino put out a super-attacking midfield of Harry Winks, Dele Alli, and Christian Eriksen vs. PSV and while extremely fun, there are doubts about whether it would work consistently in the Premier League.
Pochettino reiterated that he has confidence in all members of his first team, and noted the gauntlet of matches that Spurs have had to endure the past couple of weeks.
“Always you miss all the players when they are injured. We were talking before, in 13 days we play five games. It’s less than three days, every two and a half days we’re competing. It’s a massive effort for the players. That is why I am so pleased.
“In the same way I want to say some nice words to the staff, because they are helping the players to be ready in every single game. They work a lot and they don’t have rest. That is important [to] have nice words for them.
“Of course I think we have some players back like Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama, they’ve started training with the group and we’ll see tomorrow if they can be available to be in the squad for Saturday. Good news like Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen and building their fitness and can be more available for the team and increase the competition in the squad.”
Tottenham’s next match is on Saturday at Crystal Palace. The match kicks off at 12:30 p.m. ET, 5:30 p.m. UK.