Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele will not need surgery on a troublesome hip injury and is in contention for a return to action against Liverpool in ten days time.
The Belgian international has not played for Tottenham since their 2-0 win over Aston Villa last month thanks to a persistent hip injury picked up while on international duty.
Spurs have struggled to adapt to life without their £15 million summer signing, and have recorded back to back league losses against Chelsea and Wigan, while also stumbling to defeat against Norwich in the Capital One Cup.
Dembele struggled with a similar complaint while still with Fulham which kept him out of action for two weeks last season.
However Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has admitted the injury has proved difficult to treat and has kept him out for around a month so far.
The playmaker is absent from the squad for Tottenham’s game against Maribor on Thursday and will likely miss the clash against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium this weekend, but could be back on the pitch for the encounter at Anfield the following week.
“We could either give him surgery immediately — but there is no certainty it will cure the problem,” he said in the build-up to Tottenham’s clash against Maribor.
“Or he could rest, have manual therapy, train in the swimming pool.
“That allows the player the possibility of return within 10-15 days, so we are taking that option at the moment, without having the surgery.”
While Villas-Boas conceded his team was weakened without the influential midfielder, he was keen to point out the team had performed well without him.
“We had good games without Mousa," he said.
“Against Chelsea we lost Gareth Bale and Mousa and we gave them a run for their money even though they were on an amazing run.
“We had extremely good games against Southampton and Norwich. Good players are missed but this squad is full of good players.
“I don’t think it has affected the tempo and dynamic — it’s more important to have players fully concentrated and motivated.”
There was also good news for Spurs fans regarding Sandro after Villas-Boas confirmed the Brazilian should return in time for the game against Manchester City.
Sandro limped off early on in the 1-0 defeat against Wigan on Saturday and will sit out the Maribor clash, but could be fit for the weekend. Villas-Boas also confirmed that Jake Livermore is a doubt for the game at White Hart Lane on Thursday.
“Jake returned to training today, still a bit of discomfort there,” he said. “Sandro is out but hopeful for the weekend. Rest is as we were"