Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham injury-jinx strikes again as another key defender sidelined and facing season-ending knee surgery

Richarlison, Emerson Royal and Cristian Romero of Tottenham

Emerson Royal has added to Tottenham’s growing injury list, with the defender set for surgery on his knee that could see him sidelined for the remainder of the season.

The right-back, who was starting to play his best football for the club before the arrival of Pedro Porro in January, suffered the issue during the closing stages of Brazil’s 2-1 defeat to Morocco on Saturday and is expected to be out for around six weeks.

Emerson will have surgery on Tuesday and faces a race against time to feature again for Spurs this season, with the Premier League due to finish on May 28.

It is the latest blow for Tottenham and their new acting head coach Cristian Stellini, who was promoted from assistant on Sunday night following the departure of long-term confidant Antonio Conte by mutual consent.

Stellini had worked as Conte’s number two at Juventus and Inter Milan but has remained at the north London club and will be supported by Ryan Mason.

Conte’s brother Gianluca, who was a technical and analytics coach at Spurs, has departed alongside his sibling.

However, the rest of the staff who followed the experienced Italian to Tottenham in 2021 will stay in post alongside summer arrival Gianni Vio.

Stellini keeping fingers crossed over other returning stars

A large group of players will return to Hotspur Way on Tuesday after international duty but Stellini is faced with a lengthy list of absentees ahead of Monday’s trip to Everton.

Both Ben Davies and Richarlison suffered muscle problems in the dramatic 3-3 draw at Southampton on March 18 and the Wales defender has been ruled out until May with a hamstring issue.

Richarlison’s injury is not as severe but he will miss out on an emotional Goodison Park return and target being back in action later in April.

Wing-back Ryan Sessegnon is another on the treatment table and close to being fit. But the Everton clash will come too soon.

Captain Hugo Lloris could be in contention for Tottenham’s first match since Conte’s exit after he featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Ipswich last Thursday following a knee injury.

Rodrigo Bentancur (knee) and Yves Bissouma (ankle) remain long-term absentees, as Spurs aim to finish a rollercoaster campaign on a high with Champions League qualification.

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