Spurs boss expects Vertonghen to return in six weeks - but there’s ongoing concern over Lamela

Jan Vertonghen receives treatment after suffering his ankle injury on Saturday. Picture: PA

Jan Vertonghen receives treatment after suffering his ankle injury on Saturday. Picture: PA - Credit: EMPICS Sport

Mauricio Pochettino says Jan Vertonghen’s ankle injury is not as serious as was first feared – but he admits there is ongoing concern about Erik Lamela’s lack of progress after almost three months on the sidelines with a hip problem.

Vertonghen suffered ankle ligament damage during Saturday’s 4-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion and the initial reports suggested he would be out of action for around two months.

But Pochettino said: “We expect six weeks, less than our idea in the first moment. I don’t want to set the limit or time but I think it’s very positive, and when your mind is good and positive you can always recover early.

“In the first moment it looked really bad but this week when we assessed him with the doctor the scans showed it’s not how we thought at the beginning.”

“Jan is ok, he’s very positive. We’re pushing him a lot. After a few days he’s always spending the same time as us, 12 hours, at the training ground. It’s a little bit boring to see him!”

Asked whether there are any plans to sign another centre-back before the end of the January transfer window, Pochettino said: “We have plenty of players that can perform in his place. We are very happy with the squad and the players that we have, and we don’t need another.”

Pochettino’s update on Lamela’s recovery has been less positive, however. The Argentinian has not played since October 25 and has spent the last fortnight with his former club Roma.

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The hope was that a change of scenery might improve the 24-year-old’s mindset and hasten his comeback, but there is still no light at the end of the tunnel.

“Tomorrow he will do a scan, we have a scanner there,” said Pochettino. “It’s still difficult to give the time that he can come back.

“We need to wait tomorrow and then we’ll see what happens because there are still some problems and it’s not sure, the diagnostics.

“We now start to be concerned about him because it’s nearly three months and we’re still in a situation that isn’t moving on.”

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