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Antonio Conte undergoes gall bladder surgery, will step away from Tottenham for recovery

Cristian Stellini will take control of the team in Conte’s absence.

Preston North End v Tottenham Hotspur: Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Antonio Conte’s annus horribilis continues. Tottenham Hotspur announced on its website and social media channels that the Italian head coach underwent emergency gallbladder surgery last night after undergoing “severe abdominal pain,” forcing him to temporarily step away from his managerial duties for an undisclosed period of time.

We don’t have much more information than this at present. This surgery continues what has been a really, REALLY bad year for Conte, one that also includes the death of three close friends and a Tottenham team that has struggled mightily at times.

I’m not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV) but I am married to a registered nurse. When I asked her about the recovery time, she basically responded with “it depends.” If the surgery was laparoscopic, the recovery time could be as little as 1-2 weeks. If Conte’s gall bladder ruptured requiring open surgery, it could take 4-6 weeks to recover fully.

If we take the worst case scenario, Conte could miss as many as nine matches based on the currently available schedule, including both Champions League games against AC Milan and the fifth round of the FA Cup. If it’s 1-2 weeks, it’s possible he could miss as few as 2-3 matches.

Stellini has managed Tottenham in a match once already this season, in Spurs’ Champions League win over Marseille that earned them progression out of their group. Conte was serving a suspension in that match after being red carded in the previous match against Sporting. It is expected that Stellini will assume full control of the team until Conte returns to full health.