Stop me if you’ve heard this one before — a Tottenham Hotspur player playing for a CONMEBOL national team has reportedly picked up an injury while on international duty. Did you guess “Giovani Lo Celso”? Well, you’re close — it’s Cuti Romero.
Romero reportedly injured his ankle in the second minute of defending World Cup winner Argentina’s 2-0 win at Peru in World Cup qualifying last night, but continued to play on it for the remainder of the first half. He was substituted at halftime forGermán Pezzella. Argentina went on to win the match behind a brace from — who else — Lionel Messi.
That sounds bad, right? Well, maybe it’s not as bad as what we thought. Here’s The Athletic’s Charlie Eccleshare weighing in.
Early indications are that the blow to the ankle Romero took last night is not serious. The player is said to be optimistic he'll be ok for Fulham.— Charlie Eccleshare (@CDEccleshare) October 18, 2023
Situation should become clear in coming days once he's assessed by Spurshttps://t.co/6n8QvcMcq7
There is, quite frankly, a lot of wiggle room in that statement, which I completely understand coming from Charlie. It’s an optimistic statement, but I can see plenty of scenarios in which Cuti’s ankle takes a few weeks to heal. And that’s a scary prospect considering his primary backup is probably Eric Dier and behind him is... Alfie Dorrington? But let’s not worry about that quite yet.
The other Spurs player to keep an eye on right now is Son Heung-Min, who sat out South Korea’s first friendly match of this international cycle, but played the full 90 minutes and scored a goal in a 6-0 friendly win over ten-man Vietnam. Sonny was seen visibly limping off the pitch at halftime, but apparently considered himself fine to go on. The indications are that this isn’t a new injury but rather a continuation of the ongoing groin problem that he’s been playing through at Spurs over the past few weeks.
We can all yell at Jurgen Klinsmann if we want to about that, but professional footballers want to play professional football, especially for their country and Sonny’s a very patriotic Korean. Hard to get too upset about that, especially when he didn’t play at all in the first match.
Tottenham’s internationals should start trickling back home over the next few days. Their next match isn’t until Monday which gives them a little more time to recuperate and hopefully heal. Even so — ban international football.