Tottenham have suffered a fresh injury blow after England midfielder Dele Alli was ruled out until March with a hamstring strain.
Alli was forced off in the closing stages of Tottenham’s 2-1 win at Fulham on Sunday and scans have confirmed the extent of the star’s injury.
The 22-year-old’s absence is a massive setback for Tottenham, who are already without England striker Harry Kane until March due to an ankle ligament problem.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is also without South Korea forward Son Heung-Min, who is on international duty for several weeks.
“Following scans and clinical assessment, we can confirm that Dele Alli has suffered a hamstring strain,” a statement on Tottenham’s website said.
“Dele will now undergo a period of rehabilitation with our medical staff with the expectation of returning to training in early March.”
Alli has already endured two spells on the sidelines this season with hamstring problems as injuries continue to ravage Tottenham’s season.
“Gutted. I will do everything in my power to return as quick as possible. Thank you for all the messages,” Alli tweeted.
Gutted. I will do everything in my power to return as quick as possible. Thank you for all the messages. pic.twitter.com/epuJcEUIbw
— Dele (@dele_official) January 22, 2019
Alli is set to miss a host of crucial games, including Tottenham’s Champions League last 16 tie against Borussia Dortmund.
His injury also puts a huge dent in third-placed Spurs’ slender hopes of chasing down Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Tottenham will now face Chelsea in Thursday’s League Cup semi-final second leg without three of their key players.
England midfielder Eric Dier, just back from appendix surgery, is a contender to step in for Alli, while Fernando Llorente deputised for Kane in the win over Fulham.
Lucas Moura is nearing a return from a knee injury and Pochettino might feel he has no choice but to throw him back into action at Stamford Bridge as Tottenham try to hold onto their 1-0 first leg lead.
Hugo Lloris, Kieran Trippier, Serge Aurier, Jan Vertonghen, Davinson Sanchez, Juan Foyth, Danny Rose, Christian Eriksen, Eric Dier, Erik Lamela, Moussa Sissoko, Victor Wanyama and Kane have all spent varying amounts of time in the treatment room this term.
The injury nightmare has drawn further attention to Tottenham’s lack of activity in the summer transfer window.
Pochettino was insistent that the club would not buy this month following Kane’s injury last week.
But Alli’s latest problems might force the Argentine coach to push Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy to reconsider that frugal approach.
© Agence France-Presse (Additional Edits By Oisin McQueirns)