Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has allayed fears over the recent injury suffered by Toby Alderweireld. The Belgian defender has been sent for a scan after hurting his knee during a last-gasp 1-1 Premier League draw with West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Saturday (15 October).
Alderweireld had to be stretchered off the pitch after a collision with compatriot and teammate Jan Vertonghen that appeared to leave him in a great deal of discomfort. Eric Dier was introduced as a replacement amid fears that the versatile 27-year-old, who has appeared in all eight of Spurs' top-flight matches so far this term and did not miss a single league game last season, was set to be sidelined for a significant period of time.
However, subsequent reports suggested Tottenham were hopeful that Alderweireld had avoided ligament damage and that his absence would be a matter of weeks rather than months. Such optimism is evidently shared by Pochettino, who is confident that the centre-back has avoided a serious problem.
"We need to wait for the scan but we believe that it's not a big issue," he was quoted as saying in a short interview released via Tottenham's official Twitter account during a team flight to Germany on Monday. "He got a knock on his leg but it was better yesterday and today. We need to wait for the result from the scan but I hope that it's nothing important."
When asked about the seemingly innocuous incident that left Alderweireld punching the ground in pain, he added: "In that moment it was tough and from our position it was difficult to see what happened. It wasn't a big issue, it was a big knock, a heavy knock in his leg. We hope that it's not a big problem for the next week."
Dier will likely deputise again for Alderweireld in Tuesday's Champions League Group E tie against Bayer Leverkusen in North Rhine-Westphalia, while Danny Rose is expected to replace Ben Davies at left-back having been rested against West Brom following his exertions with England. An injury sustained by rival Ryan Bertrand during the early stages of a 2018 World Cup qualifying victory over minnows Malta left the 26-year-old needing to play two matches in three days having only made his first start in nearly a month against Manchester City following a hamstring issue suffered during the last international break.
Following that draw against the Baggies, Pochettino confirmed that Leverkusen, previous stomping ground of in-form forward Son Heung-Min, would come too soon for Harry Kane. However, he did sound hopeful that the influential striker could return to outdoor training today for the first time since damaging ankle ligaments during a 1-0 win over Sunderland at White Hart Lane on 18 September.
Tottenham face a number of important fixtures over the coming few weeks, with matches against Liverpool and Leicester on the agenda later this month in addition to key London derbies against Arsenal, West Ham and Chelsea in November.