Medical expert issues worrying claim over Tottenham star already sidelined for five weeks

Tottenham forwards Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison

Medical expert Ben Dinnery has issued a worrying claim over the length of time Tottenham striker Richarlison could be on the sidelines for.

The Brazilian forward suffered a hamstring injury in the warm-up of Brazil’s World Cup quarter-final loss to Croatia but still started the game before eventually coming off after 84 minutes.

It was reported last week that the 25-year-could could be sidelined for between five-six weeks with the issue.

Indeed, Spurs boss Antonio Conte revealed on Tuesday that Richarlison will have an MRI scan to determine the full extent of the problem.

However, Dinnery has concerns that the former Everton forward’s diagnosis could lead to him being out for even longer.

He told Football Insider: “Practitioners have a really good understanding of the severity of an injury just through their evaluation.

“You don’t always need imaging to confirm that. You don’t need the weatherman to tell you it’s raining, as it were.

“Clinical evaluations are really good but what an MRI scan is really good at is answering those questions you may have in regards to return to play, the precise location of the injury and the full extent of that problem.

“Those internal clinical evaluations would have taken place and you’ll have a good understanding of what’s happening in there. That’s where the four to six-week evaluation would come from but this MRI will hopefully give a more definitive answer.

“People see the MRI as the gold standard but other factors can come into play, depending on if it was a really severe injury. You might not be able to pick up specifics because of swelling around the area.

“The chances are this is potentially a second scan. The first one may have come back inconclusive or they may want to get that swelling down to see the precise nature of it.

“That will give them a deeper understanding of the injury itself and from that, you will be able to give a more accurate projection as to when Richarlison can return for Tottenham.”

Richarlison absence a blow for Conte

Losing Richarlison, whose form at the World Cup has seen him linked with the likes of PSG and Bayern Munich, for any length of time will be a blow to Conte, especially given Harry Kane’s workload since the start of the season.

In an ideal world where Richarlison is fit and firing after an impressive tournament in Qatar, Conte would be able to give Kane an extended rest but the England skipper will be needed over the busy festive period.

Son Heung-min is back and available though after featuring for South Korea at the World Cup.

And with Dejan Kulusevski working on his fitness over the last month, Conte at least has options he can turn to in the attacking positions.

READ MORE: Tottenham settle on ‘number one’ transfer target to replace certain Conte starter in 2023