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TEAM NEWS: Sessegnon out at least a month with hamstring injury

It’s not great news for Ryan Sessegnon’s status.

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Ryan Sessegnon’s run of poor injury luck continues. After tweaking his hamstring (again) during the first half of Tottenham Hotspur’s 5-0 win over Everton on Monday evening, his manager Antonio Conte confirmed in a press conference that the young fullback is set for another spell on the sidelines, at least through the upcoming international break three weeks from now.

“Bad news about Ryan Sessegnon, he had a scan and he has a muscular problem. Maybe we’ll see him after the international break. About Skipp and Tanganga, we are not ready, we have to wait.”

It sounds like it’s a recurrence of the hamstring injury that kept Sess out for a good chunk of time at the beginning of the season, but it turns out that it’s an injury to an entirely different part of his hamstring, and I’m honestly not sure if that’s a better or worse outcome.

It’s a blow for Sess, but the good news is that Sergio Reguilon should have no problems slotting right back into the starting lineup this Saturday at Manchester United.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any new news regarding Spurs’ other two injuries — Oliver Skipp and Japhet Tanganga. When asked about Skippy’s long-term injury, Conte couldn’t contain his frustration.

“Yeah, for sure I am a bit worried. I’m a bit worried because he started with a groin pain and then now, we are talking about two months, two months and half, that he is out.

“The midfield, I don’t have so many midfielders. There is Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Skipp and Winks. To miss for a lot of time Skipp is not simple, and I have to hope also not to have injuries for our midfielders.

“Yes we are not talking about a problem, not a new problem, we are talking about a situation that unfortunately is repeating. Not only in this season but also in the past. For sure we have to try with the medical department to find a solution to help this player, but sometimes also, I think that there is a predisposition to have this type of problem and especially muscular problems.

“It happened no? Bentancur had a problem and to have only two midfielders, you have to hope also to finish the game without injuries. For sure this is a problem. I am a bit worried, because in my mind, the mind of the player [Skipp], there was the desire to come back very soon, as soon as possible, but in this moment, if you ask me, a forecast about his return with the team, I don’t have an answer.”

On the one hand, Conte’s right about not having many midfielders and this is an issue. On the other hand, Conte HAD plenty of midfielders at his disposal but opted to dump two of them in January only for Skippy to go out injured practically indefinitely.

Conte had similar words about Sessegnon, who simply can’t seem to catch a break in the injury-wise since joining Spurs.

“[Ryan] is very strong physically. Sometimes maybe to be so strong physically, instead of being good for your body, sometimes it can be a problem. If we are much stronger than your body can [handle] - it is difficult to speak because we are talking about science. I think about this topic is better to speak with the doctor rather than me.

“For sure we are very disappointed. We are very disappointed. We hope to find the best solution to help him not have many injuries. Honestly we were hoping, as for one month and a half he was playing with continuity, also his performances were good, excellent, he was improving.

“I understand, I have seen the disappointment of the player, he is very frustrated. This is the aspect that I worry because he’s very young to see a player like him frustrated about these injuries, is a pity, and also we have to work with him in the human aspect, to stay very close to him and support him.

Conte was also asked about the impressive play of Matt Doherty, who has roared out of nowhere to be one of Spurs’ most important players the past few matches. Conte stressed that Matt’s improvement has everything to do with how he works, and his ability to internalize his tactics.

“For sure Matt is a player that improved a lot from when I arrived. We work, we work hard, on the tactical aspect, on the physical aspect, with the video, with analysis video.

“During this process, there are players that improve more quickly than the others, and Matt, I think, he improved a lot in these four and a half months.

“Now he is showing also personality, to be confident and for me with this system, the wing-backs are very, very important, very important. To have this improvement is good.

“But at the same time, also the other players showed improvement, Sessegnon, Emerson - he had in the last period a problem, a groin pain. The same for Sergio Reguilon, after Covid. For sure my task is to improve every single player. I am happy when we finish the season and I see my players improve their performances and their football knowledge.”

A win at the Theater of Dreams on Saturday would certainly propel Spurs back into the top four conversation, a topic that looked like it was dead and buried just two weeks ago. Tottenham kick off vs. United at 12:30 p.m. ET (5:30 p.m. UK). The match will be televised on Sky Sports in the UK and streamed on Peacock in the USA.