Belfast Telegraph

Tottenham may have to make do without Lamela until next season, says Pochettino

By Tom Allnutt

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has suggested Erik Lamela may not play again this season.

Lamela has not featured for Spurs since October 25 as first a hip problem and then a family accident involving his brother kept him on the sidelines.

The winger even returned to his former club Roma in January for treatment on his injury but, despite being back for more than a month, a return to action is still not seemingly close.

Pochettino said yesterday that Lamela is now "100 per cent" recovering in London and his problem is purely a physical one, rather than anything personal.

But the Argentinian was less clear on when Lamela could next play for Tottenham.

"I can't say one, two weeks, three weeks, one month or maybe next season, I don't know," Pochettino said.

"It's too difficult because we are assessing him every day, how he is in the morning, we prepare a plan, sometimes he is involved from the beginning in the warm-up with the team, sometimes he feels pain.

"Now it is day by day and we see.

"We hope he can be available again as soon as possible."

Lamela is one of two absentees for tomorrow's FA Cup quarter-final against Millwall, with Danny Rose still nursing a knee injury. Spurs have said they expect the defender back in April.

Millwall will offer a stern test at White Hart Lane as they look to extend a remarkable run that has already included three Premier League scalps in Bournemouth, Watford and Leicester.

"We are very focused because the game will be very tough," Pochettino said.

"It is another London derby and we were watching the games and they fully deserve to be in the quarters."

In the early kick-off in the FA Cup today, Middlesbrough host Manchester City (12.15pm) in the sixth round.

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