When Toby Alderweireld went down and signalled to be replaced during Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 win over Manchester City last Saturday, I admit to being extremely worried. It didn’t look good, and although Toby limped off under his own power, it sure seemed like something that could keep him off the pitch for an extended period of time. Jose Mourinho even called the injury “bad.”
So it’s to my great relief to report that Mourinho, in a press conference ahead of Thursday’s Europa League match against Ludogorets, announced that Toby’s adductor muscular injury isn’t as bad as initially feared, and that it looks like he’ll only be out two to four weeks, and not multiple months.
#thfc Mourinho confirms Alderweireld has a muscular injury but it's 'not as bad as we first thought'. He's be expected to miss 2-4 weeks.— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) November 25, 2020
However, “two to four weeks” is still a ton of potentially missed matches. That not only includes Thursday’s match against Ludogorets and Sunday’s clash against Chelsea, but also the following, assuming a month out: @LASK (Europa), Arsenal, Antwerp, @Palace, @Liverpool, Leicester City, @Stoke (EFL Cup), @Wolves. Best case scenario would be Toby possibly being fit enough to play against Antwerp, or maybe the trip to Palace, but we won’t know for a while. Muscle injuries are weird.
So it’s not as bad as we thought, but it’s still pretty bad, and Spurs will probably be without Toby for some really, really crucial matches. That means that Mourinho will need to rely on Davinson Sanchez and Joe Rodon in Toby’s absence, with Mou referring to Japhet Tanganga in the same press conference as primarily a fullback.
#thfc Jose on Tanganga: "For me, he's a full-back...a multifunctional defensive players but [firstly] a full-back."— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) November 25, 2020
And who knows — with Matt Doherty still in isolation as far as we know after testing positive for COVID-19, maybe we’ll see Tanganga at right back against Ludogorets tomorrow.