Rodrigo Bentancur is set for an extended period on the sidelines as a result of the ankle injury he picked up in Tottenham Hotspur's defeat to Aston Villa, 90min understands.
On what was his first start for the club since tearing his ACL back in February, Bentancur lasted just 32 minutes before a controversial challenge from Villa full-back Matty Cash forced him back to the dressing room.
The news comes as an enormous blow to Bentancur, who had racked up less than 90 minutes of action across four appearances following the return from his eight-month lay-off, but also to Spurs as Ange Postecoglou's side face an immense injury crisis.
Spurs are already without Pape Matar Sarr, Richarlison, Manor Solomon, Ryan Sessegnon, James Maddison, Micky van de Ven, Ivan Perisic, Ashley Phillips and Alfie Whiteman, while Cristian Romero and Yves Bissouma have both been dealing with suspensions.
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Among the biggest concerns for Postecoglou will be his midfield options during the Africa Cup of Nations, when both Sarr and Bissouma could be missing for close to a month across January and February.
The only senior midfielders who will remain with Spurs are Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp, Giovani Lo Celso and the injured duo of Maddison and Bentancur.
Despite the gravity of the problem facing Spurs, Postecoglou is choosing to remain optimistic.
"It is just the situation we're in at the moment, but we'll get through it," he said after the defeat to Villa. "It might take a little while, but we'll get through it and as long as we show the same intent and play the Football we did today, I've got no doubt when we come out the other side, we'll be a very good Football team."
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