Son Heung-min will miss Tottenham’s clash with Liverpool and could be out for a few more weeks, according to Mauricio Pochettino.
Son came off with a foot injury in the win over Manchester City three weeks ago but the club had hoped the striker would recover over the international break.
The problem is taking longer than expected, however, and Son’s absence leaves Pochettino short up front, with Harry Kane the club’s only other centre forward.
Son signed for around £22million from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer and made an impressive start to life at White Hart Lane, scoring three goals in his first three appearances.
“His injury was in his foot but it’s okay, we’re happy with him. Maybe in a few weeks he will be back,” Pochettino said.
“I think he’s nearly ready to come back, to start training with the group, but you know every injury is different and we need to assess it day by day.”
Spurs will also be without Ryan Mason (knee) and Nabil Bentaleb (ankle), who are close to a return but will not be ready for Jurgen Klopp’s first game as Liverpool manager.
Klopp’s appointment was confirmed last week to a surge of excitement on Merseyside and Pochettino believes the German will already have made an impact on his players.
“He is a great manager. When you see the games at Borussia Dortmund, he is a manager who has a clear idea how he wants to play,” Pochettino said.
“You can get some ideas across (in a short space of time). In my experience at Southampton we had three days before the game against Everton.
“We worked hard to try to settle some ideas. It’s impossible to put all your ideas in the mind of the team but always you try to change something.
“It’s not easy, but it’s not difficult because you start to give the players the tools to play in the way you want to play.”
Liverpool sit 10th in the Barclays Premier League table after winning only one of their last six matches under Brendan Rodgers.
Klopp is likely to make changes to both selection and formation on Saturday but Pochettino insists the Reds are not an unknown quantity under their new boss.
“We can use the information because in the last few months Liverpool have played in different ways and changed the system,” Pochettino said.
“How we analyse Dortmund and the way Klopp played, it’s similar concepts that we can take.
“We have some references – maybe we give too much information – but the first half against Arsenal they played in a similar style he played with Dortmund last season.
“We have a lot of resources to research the information. But in the end the truth is Saturday and how they put in place his ideas.”