Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is not sure if midfielder Victor Wanyama will be available for his side's Premier League opener against Newcastle United. He also seemed to suggest that Harry Winks and Mousa Dembele may struggle to be fit to face the Magpies in a fortnight's time.
Wanyama, 26, picked up a knee problem during Spurs' 4-2 pre-season defeat by Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month and had to sit out of his side's 3-0 loss to Manchester City in Tennessee on Saturday (29 July) as a result.
Pochettino claimed the Kenya international would return to training next week, but could not confirm whether the former Southampton star would be fit to face newly-promoted Newcastle in two weeks' time. The Argentine also spoke about the fitness of Wanyama's competitors for a starting spot at Tottenham, Winks and Dembele, who are seemingly over the worst of their respective and foot injuries.
"He [Wanyama] played against PSG and he suffered a small problem in his cartilage in his left knee," Pochettino told ESPN. "But sure, for next week, he will be available to train again. Will he be OK for the start of the Premier League? We hope yes but we need to see how he develops and how he is next week when we come back to London."
On the subject of Winks and Dembele, Pochettino added: "You need to understand that Harry Winks was injured and is getting fit. It was a big problem for us last season. Mousa Dembele is the same. We cannot speak about playing a Premier League game today in Manchester or London."
The injury to Wanyama is yet another worry for Tottenham, who could be without four first-team players for the start of their Premier League season at St James' Park. Erik Lamela, Danny Rose and Son Heung-min are all struggling with a variety of fitness concerns, while outcast Moussa Sissoko is currently suffering from a virus.
In the absence of Wanyama, Pochettino may deploy Tottenham utility man Eric Dier in a central midfield role against Newcastle. The England international's future has been slightly unclear in recent weeks due to interest from Manchester United, who were unwilling to meet Spurs' £60m asking price.
The staunch refusal to sell Dier from Tottenham has led United to consider other targets, and the imminent arrival of Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic hints that Jose Mourinho's men have ended their interest in the former Sporting Lisbon starlet.