Tottenham Hotspur have announced midfielder Alex Pritchard will be out of service for three months following surgery on his right ankle. The news comes as a blow for manager Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the Premier League clash with Liverpool on 17 October, although better news comes with both Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb back in contention for a first team spot.
The 22-year-old midfielder returned to Spurs this summer following an impressive loan spell at Brentford, where he scored 12 goals in 45 appearances. His form with the Bees got him a place in Gareth Southgate's squad for the U21 European Championship, but he was ruled out of the tournament in the second game, suffering an ankle injury against Sweden.
The midfielder consequently missed Spurs'pre-season, but after a couple of game with the Under 21 side, Pochettino handed him late cameo in the 0-0 draw against Everton on 29 August.
Pritchard was expected to play a big part in the new season due to the shortage of options in the middle of the park at White Hart Lane following the departures of Etienne Capoue, Paulinho and Benjamin Stambouli. Pochettino has used defender Eric Dier in a holding role alongside the promising Dele Alli in recent games as Mason, Bentaleb and Mousa Dembele have also struggled with injuries.
Spurs have now confirmed Pritchard has received surgery to address the injury issues, via a brief statement on their club website.
"The Club can confirm that Alex Pritchard has undergone surgery on his right ankle," they confirmed.
"The England Under-21 international originally sustained the injury in a challenge against Sweden during the summer's European Under-21 Championship, which ruled him out for the rest of the tournament.The expected recovery and rehabilitation is likely to see him return to training in the new year."