Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is "happy" with Erik Lamela's progress as he continues to recover from injury but is still unable to put a timeframe on his return.
Lamela's last appearance for Spurs came almost four months ago in a 0-0 draw with Bournemouth on 22 October. The Argentina international suffered a hip injury in a training session days later which has seen him miss the club's last 20 games.
After spells back in his homeland and in Rome to aid his recovery, the 24-year-old is now back in north London. But speaking at a press conference on Thursday (9 February) ahead of the Premier League clash with Liverpool, Pochettino explained the club are still unable to nail down a date for his return.
"With Erik Lamela we are very happy," he said. "We are very positive and very optimistic but I cannot give the date that maybe he can meet his teammates to start to work."
During his lengthy spell out of the first-team, Lamela was permitted to return to Argentina to deal with a family matter, returning to the club's training base in Enfield on 13 December.
At the turn of the year, Lamela was also given permission by Pochettino to travel to Rome to continue his recovery, returning to his former club Roma for more treatment. A return to the Italian capital has somewhat inevitably sparked speculation of a move back to the Serie A side, with reports suggesting the winger is "unsettled and homesick" in London.
But Lamela swiftly denied the rumours, writing via his Instagram account: "Just to be clear, I am in Rome at the moment recovering from an injury and not for any other thing that is not to do with football. Missing White Hart Lane every minute."
Lamela served as an important member of Tottenham's attacking trio behind Harry Kane last season, contributing 11 goals and 10 assists in all competitions.