Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has come clean on fears that Kieran Trippier’s injury problems this season are a result of being overworked at the World Cup.
Trippier made his first start following his recovery from a groin injury in the 3-1 win over Southampton on Wednesday, but did not make full-time as he limped off in the final five minutes, appearing to hold the injured part of his body.
It is a problem he first suffered at the World Cup in the summer when he could not finish England’s heartbreaking semi-final loss with Croatia.
Despite that, he was picked to play in the third-place play-off against Belgium three days later and Pochettino believes the problem is chronic and he will be suffering for a long period.
“I think it’s the same problem, the same problem that started in the World Cup,” the boss said.
“If you remember the semi-final against Croatia, when he left the pitch. Then I think to play after three days against Belgium, I think maybe it affected a little bit.
“Now he’s suffering in that situation.
“In situations like today when the pitch is not in a good condition, this area, the groin, suffers more when the pitch is different.
“It’s a thing that we need to care a lot for him, protect him, he needs to work a lot to protect and sort that problem.
“It will be a long period for him suffering this type of problem.
“When I was in Argentina as a 19-year-old I suffered and it is an area that is difficult to sort out.
“But I don’t believe it’s a big thing. It’s only he needs to start to accept that situation and live with sometimes some pain and play.”
Given he did not finish the game, it seems unlikely Trippier will play against Leicester on Saturday, instead more likely to return against Barcelona in the Champions League next week.
Get the latest personalised Spurs products on our new TEAMtalk Tottenham shop!