Tottenham will once again be without the services of Ryan Mason for Sunderland's Premier League visit to White Hart Lane on cSaturday 16 January. The central midfielder has not played for the club since 29 November 2015, when he hurt his ankle during the second half of a goalless draw with Chelsea in north London.
Mason, 24, did briefly return to both first-team training and the matchday squad in late December but was eventually left as an unused substitute during a 2-1 win at Watford. Hopes that he could return for the top-flight defeat to Leicester on Wednesday (13 January) proved unfounded, however, and it remains unclear just how much longer he will need to spend on the sidelines.
"There's no real change, Ryan Mason is still out," manager Mauricio Pochettino was quoted as saying by Tottenham's official Twitter account ahead of his latest pre-match press conference.
Also ruled out for the meeting with relegation-threatened Sunderland is Clinton Njie. The Cameroon striker, who moved to English football from Lyon during last summer's transfer window, had featured 13 times in all competitions for his new team before suffering a knee problem during the 4-1 Europa League victory over Monaco last month.
He later needed surgery to fix damage to his medial collateral ligament (MCL) and is not expected to feature again for several weeks.
With Alex Pritchard also yet to fully return from nearly five months out following an ankle operation, one positive update on the injury front for Tottenham is the fitness of Mousa Dembele. The former Fulham midfielder lasted just 45 minutes of the win over Watford before being substituted due to a groin issue that came quickly after an ankle injury.
He returned to action as a second-half replacement against Leicester on Wednesday (13 January) and on his availability for Sunderland, a positive Pochettino added: "The good news is that Mousa Dembele is back and got some minutes last night."
Tottenham's defeat to Leicester, which came courtesy of a late header from centre-back Robert Huth, was only the third suffered by Pochettino's side in the Premier League so far this season and came just three days after a penalty from Harry Kane rescued a 2-2 draw against the same opposition in the third round of the FA Cup. The replay is scheduled for 20 January.