Tottenham have been hit by a double blow with setbacks for Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele.
Left-back Rose, who has made just five starts this season after playing for England at the World Cup in Russia, is out for longer than had been expected with groin injury, and midfielder Dembele has ankle ligament damage that will stop him playing again this year.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino expects Rose back after the upcoming international break, but it is expected to be touch and go for the crucial games at home to Chelsea in the Premier League on November 24 and Inter Milan in a crunch Champions League tie four days later.
Pochettino said: “We hope it will be after the international break, it might be difficult for the week after the international break but we will see. We will see what the evolution is, it may be a situation that can change quick and be positive.
“We hope that from the beginning of January that Dembele will be ready. After it’s about the evolution, it’s very dynamic the evolution and how he’s going to recover.
“It’s always about the patient, the player, and how he’s going to react after the injury. We hope he’ll be back as soon as possible and early in January to help the team to win games.”
Meanwhile, Pochettino has admitted he would love to keep his internationals at the club for the upcoming break following their heavy workload over the past five months.
Following the World Cup, many of Tottenham ’s players enjoyed only a short break before returning for a packed programme of Premier League, Champions League and Carabao Cup action.
Pochettino said: “If you said to me, ‘Would you prefer all my international players stay here and rest for two weeks without competition?’, I would say yes. But that is impossible.
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“That is why we were talking before about Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen and international duty. It is play, play, then move them there and play again.
“If you see our schedule for the next few months, it will be so tough. How do you manage that?
“I understand we need to sacrifice some games for some players so they can cope with the demand in the future.”
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