Injured Tottenham Hotspur defender Danny Rose will remain sidelined for Saturday's (22 April) FA Cup semi-final showdown against Premier League title rivals Chelsea, although Mauricio Pochettino believes that the left-back could return for a North London derby clash with Arsenal later this month.
Rose has been out of action since the end of January, when he was withdrawn during the first half of a goalless draw against relegation-battlers Sunderland at the Stadium of Light having hurt his knee in a challenge with Billy Jones. It was later established following a scan and a visit to a specialist that he had suffered medial ligament damage.
Initially expected to be sidelined for approximately one month, the 26-year-old's recovery has progressed more slowly than anticipated and a return to what Spurs referred to as "outdoor work" only occurred earlier this week.
Pochettino had already cast doubt upon Rose's availability for Wembley and his absence for that aforementioned meeting with Chelsea has now been confirmed. Tottenham resume top-flight duties at Crystal Palace next Wednesday before welcoming Arsene Wenger and Arsenal to White Hart Lane on Sunday 30 April.
"Arsenal, maybe," the manager told reporters during a pre-semi-final press conference held on Thursday afternoon when questioned regarding a potential return date. "For Saturday, no. He's OK, he's doing well, he's still not with the group but he's at a very good level."
Providing an update via their official Twitter account, the club said: "[Rose] has commenced outdoor training and aims to progress further with rehab and training next week."
Rose's near three-month absence has done little to harm his reputation, with the England international named alongside teammates Kyle Walker, Dele Alli and Harry Kane in the official PFA Premier League Team of the Year. Four representatives is just reward for a fine campaign that could yet end in a first league triumph since 1961 if in-form Spurs are able to overhaul a four-point deficit to Chelsea in the final six matches, although Pochettino believes another of his players was overlooked.
"I'm happy for them, happy for Tottenham," he said, as per football.london. "Maybe they're missing someone from us, I think, but you know that is a thing I don't care too much about. Like when the people decide the manager of the month, I think it's more a trophy for the club, it's not for one manager or for some players that are competing for winning titles. It's good because it's about our business, but I don't care too much."
Along with Rose, Harry Winks (ankle) and Erik Lamela (hip) will both miss the upcoming cup match having been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Tottenham have revealed that back-up goalkeeper Michel Vorm and teenage centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers hope to return from respective knee injuries in May.