For the second time in as many weeks, Tottenham Hotspur’s squad is under temporary control of assistant manager Cristian Stellini. Spurs announced today that head coach Antonio Conte is returning to Italy for a second period of recuperation after gallbladder surgery two weeks ago. Conte had a followup appointment with a doctor post-surgery which prompted this decision.
Following a routine post-operation check in Italy yesterday, Antonio Conte will remain at his family home to recover from his recent surgery.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 16, 2023
Health is the most important consideration and everyone at the Club wishes him well.
Cristian Stellini will assume First Team duties. pic.twitter.com/k9L4ZcpGhv
Assistant manager Stellini had led the team and coached Spurs on the sidelines for their home win over Manchester City, but Conte had returned the following Wednesday and oversaw Spurs’ losses at Leicester City and at AC Milan in the Champions League. There were reports after Conte’s return that he had basically ignored orders from his surgeons to rest and recuperate for two weeks in order to return to the team as soon as possible.
We don’t know what his doctors said, but it’s clear that his recovery from gallbladder is not going as well as it should, otherwise he’d still be here. Clearly, Conte’s health is the most important thing, and if he needs more rest and less stress in his life to fully recover from a surgical procedure, that’s what he needs to do.
There were no reports as to how long Conte will remain in Italy or when he might return to the team.
Stellini is Conte’s right hand man and is well equipped to handle Spurs in Conte’s absence. Spurs have won both of the games in which Stellini has led them out — a Champions League win at Marseille, and the win over Manchester City. Tottenham host West Ham this Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET, and host Chelsea the following Sunday.