Tottenham Hotspur star Mousa Dembele is expected to return to action for the coming Premier League clash with Southampton after missing the 6-0 FA Cup win over Millwall due to an ankle injury. However, Kyle Walker and Victor Wanyama could join long-term absentees Harry Kane, Erik Lamela and Danny Rose in the treatment room as both players face a late fitness test to check their availability to face Mauricio Pochettino's former side.
Dembele has been a key player for Pochettino since the beginning of the campaign and the manager admitted that having the Belgium back in the squad will be a major boost to face Southampton, especially if Wanyama fails to recover in time to play.
"I think it's important. Before the game against Millwall he suffered a minor problem in his ankle, he wasn't part of the game but this week he's trained well. Tomorrow is the last training session but he was good during the week." Pochettino said in the press conference ahead of the game.
Walker, meanwhile, was on the bench against Millwall but could miss Sunday's game after suffering an ankle injury on Monday.
"That is a private matter," Pochettino responded when asked how the right-back sustained the injury. "After the day off on Monday, he arrived back here on Tuesday with a problem with his ankle. He could not train during the week, we need to assess (him) tomorrow and we'll see if he's available for Sunday."
Kane is also out after damaging the ligaments of his ankle during the FA Cup clash but Pochettino provided a positive update on his recovery, suggesting that the England international expects to return sooner than anticipated.
"I don't know. We need to assess him day by day. He's very positive, he's always joking about [coming back] after the international break or in three or four weeks. That is good but at the same time we need to be careful with his injury – we have complete, full trust in our doctors and physios and all the (medical) department to look after him in the best way and we'll see. We hope that as soon as possible he can be available again. That is our desire, our wish," Pochettino said.
The game with Southampton will also come too early for Lamela and Rose but Pochettino recently suggested that the left-back could begin training again in a fortnight's time and should be back next month.