Winks confirms surgery, but ‘hopeful’ season is not over

Crystal Palace's Cheikhou Kouyate (left) and Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Winks battle for the ball dur

Crystal Palace's Cheikhou Kouyate (left) and Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Winks battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (pic: Nick Potts/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The England international was always expected to miss the Champions League semi-final first leg, but will now miss both ties

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks underwent groin surgery on Monday and will be absent for both of the club’s Champions League semi-final legs against Ajax.

The 23-year-old has been a key player for Mauricio Pochettino this season, but of late has struggled with his fitness.

A groin injury started to trouble him earlier in the campaign and despite attempting to play through the pain, Spurs revealed on Monday evening he had undergone surgery, although the procedure is understood to not be anything too serious.

Winks said: “I’m absolutely gutted I’ve needed to have surgery at such a vital point in our season.

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“We’ve tried everything to avoid this action, but I’m very hopeful this is not the end of the season for me yet in what has been a great year for the team and me personally.”

The Spurs academy graduate Winks will target making the Champions League final on June 1, but Tottenham have to get there first.

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A club statement on the midfielder read: “He will be monitored by our medical staff as he continues his recovery before commencing rehabilitation.”

While Winks will miss the two games with Ajax, Moussa Sissoko looks set to make a timely return.

He suffered a groin injury during the quarter-final second leg tie at Manchester City on April 17, but returned to training on Monday.

If Pochettino can call upon one of Tottenham’s players of the season, it would be a big boost ahead of arguably Spurs’ biggest game since 1962.

Jan Vertonghen has also returned to training and should partner Toby Alderweireld at the back for the Lilywhites with the duo going up against their old club.

Spurs will be without Heung-min Son (suspension), Harry Kane (ankle) and Erik Lamela (hamstring), so they are short of options up front.

The onus will be on Lucas Moura and Fernando Llorente may even be handed a rare start while defender Serge Aurier remains absent due to injury.

Vincent Janssen has recently been used by Pochettino on his return to full fitness, but he is ineligible because Tottenham didn’t have enough room in their knock-out squad list to name him.

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