Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

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Lamela ready to put injury woe to bed

By Tom Allnutt

Erik Lamela has told Mauricio Pochettino he is finally ready to make his Tottenham return after more than a year out through injury.

Lamela, who joined Spurs four years ago for a then club record £30million, has undergone operations on each of his hips and not played since October 25, 2016.

But after beginning training early last month, Lamela gave Pochettino the green light yesterday and is now expected to be on the bench for tonight's game against Leicester City.

"It's very good news because he's in contention," Pochettino said. "It's because after the training he felt good and said, 'Ok, I'm ready to move on and be available if you want'."

Lamela's recovery has proven complex, with the 25-year-old even allowed to take treatment from his former club Roma in January.

There was also a traumatic period in December last year when Lamela rushed back to his native Argentina to attend to his brother, who had been unexpectedly taken into hospital.

Pochettino is likely to ease Lamela back in slowly over the Christmas period but he insists he never had any doubts that he would play again.

"We trusted in our medical staff and him that he's a very competitive player, always focused on his recovery," Pochettino said.

"It's true that after a year it's difficult for a player to be fit and find the feelings in the competition when it's an injury for long term.

"Maybe similar to Danny Rose, after 10 months or year it's similar. You need to provide them the time to be fit and feel again the competition.

"With Lamela there's no pressure on him, only to feel he's a player in the competition again."

Belfast Telegraph

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