Tottenham duo James Maddison and Micky van de Ven will both be out of action until the New Year, manager Ange Postecoglou has said.
Tottenham were already destined to be without six first-team players when they travel to Wolves on Saturday lunchtime, but Postecoglou has now confirmed both Van de Ven and Maddison will miss the rest of the calendar year with injuries sustained against Chelsea on Monday.
Van de Ven limped off with a hamstring injury before half-time at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium while Maddison was withdrawn, initially as a precaution, with an ankle problem which has since seen him ruled out of the England squad – and was described as “a lot worse than we thought”.
He said: “Micky has a hamstring injury which we knew was fairly significant, a couple of months for him.
“Madders is a lot worse than we thought. Next day it wasn’t great, we sent him off for a scan, and probably we’re looking into the New Year.
Spurs’ rising injury list…
New injuries from Monday – Maddison, Van de Ven, Richarlison
Suspended – Udogie, Romero
Long-term – Perisic, Solomon, Sessegnon
“Richarlison had the operation which we kind of scheduled anyway, he’s been battling with that since day one and the international break is coming up – he should be a month if everything goes well.
“We’ve got a couple of suspensions as well… But Ben Davies is back and available. Pedro Porro is fine and available.”
Postecoglou will be without three of the back four who started against Chelsea on Monday, owing to suspensions to Christian Romero and Destiny Udogie following their red cards in the game, as well as Van de Ven’s injury.
It will mean the Spurs boss has one fit centre-back – Eric Dier – at his disposal, with Emerson Royal filling in alongside him towards the end of the game in North London against the Blues.
Postecoglou said one of the downsides of Spurs’ lack of continental football this year meant his replacements would be less match-sharp than he would like ahead of the trip to Molineux on Saturday.
“We’ll have to make some changes tomorrow, but the guys who come in understand how we play, and will give everything on the pitch,” he said. “If we’d been in Europe, some of these guys would’ve had more game time.
“That’s the tricky bit – we can’t afford any more injuries, we have to be very careful about the game time we give these guys.”
Ange: Van de Ven will come back stronger
Asked further about Van de Ven’s injury, which saw him helped from the pitch on Monday night, Postecoglou praised the Dutch defender’s character and said it would help him come back stronger when he makes a return to first-team action in 2024.
“There’s always a possibility of an injury disrupting your career,” he said. “He was disappointed obviously, but now it’s about using his time on rehab to come back strong and a better player.
“He’s got good support in the building, and knowing Micky he’ll leave no stone unturned to make sure he comes back better and better.
“All the absences have an effect on the team. The unusual one for us, and I’ve not known of a time in my career where we’ve got some disruption in one game – three of our back four, for instance.
“That’s where we get affected more than anywhere else, if it was just Micky you’d miss him but it wouldn’t disrupt us as much. But this is three out of the four missing.”