Not to be the bearer of bad news, but... I have bad news about James Maddison. The creative 10 whom Spurs signed from relegated Leicester City this past summer has been out since the Chelsea match last month and had previously targeted a return in the middle of January. Now it might be February.
Speaking to former England and Wrexham keeper Ben Foster on his podcast, Maddison hinted his recovery was taking longer than expected and that he was afraid his recovery could take up to three months, meaning he wouldn’t be back until February at the earliest.
“[The injury] is healing well. It’s a bit of a slow burner which is obviously frustrating because I started the season so well. But it’s healing, slowly but surely.
“This is probably the longest [injury] I’ve had, if it’s, say, three months, I’ve never really gone past that. It’s frustrating.
“You know what it’s like being injured; every day is tough, especially at Spurs; the training ground has got a big window, so the physio room is just looking perfectly out to the training pitch, watching all the lads train and prepare for the games at the minute. It’s a helpless feeling.
“It’s recovering well, it’s going to take a bit of time and you’ve just got accept that and crack on with rehab.”
Ugh. There were some unsourced rumors floating around on social media that suggested Maddison’s recovery was taking longer than expected and his own words here seems to suggest that possibility. It’s perhaps more just frustration talking, but Maddison knows his own body and nobody can see and understand the rate of his recovery better than he can, so this is a bit discouraging. But he seems to have a good attitude about it, at least. He’s moving around freely in his home and it’s not like he’s wearing a brace or a cast or something (at least that we can see).
Thankfully, Tottenham have what appears to be a good replacement for his creativity in Giovani Lo Celso and Dejan Kulusevski, though it would’ve been great to have Madders back before Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma depart for the African Cup of Nations. This suggests we might not get him back until that tournament finishes.
The whole interview with Foster is interesting and cool, and Maddison also had wonderful things to say about Ange Postecoglou and the job he’s doing at Spurs already this season.
“He’s been good, he’s been really good. He’s been highly spoken of in the press because people have talked and taken a real liking to him. He’s a really likable man. He gets the balance right with how he wants to work.
“You very rarely have like a social conversation with him, which is different, and he’s openly said that. He will never sit and have lunch with you, but there’s a respect there. He will ask about your family. He knows there’s a boundary, he thinks he doesn’t want to be too tight with the players where someone else would see and think ‘Oh he’s got favorites.” He treats everyone the same, no favorites, no extra meetings or stuff like that.
“He’s got a little snap in him, yeah. He’s got that bite that you need. You talk about him having people in the palm of his hand — when he has meetings with the squad, even on the day of the game, you’re zoned in on what he’s saying. I’ve never seen a meeting like it, and I’ve worked under a good few managers now. His motivational speaking — sometimes I don’t think he even means to start it, he just gets gets into it and you don’t blink. He genuinely makes me want to go play and play well for him.
“He has that charisma, the way he talks, he uses little stories, little messages, little analogies, whatever he does, it works.”