Mauricio Pochettino is yet to make a decision on Dele Alli’s availability against Brighton & Hove Albion after the midfielder returned to training this week.
Alli has been absent since suffering a muscle strain while playing for England during the recent international break.
The 22-year-old subsequently missed the Three Lions’ friendly victory over Switzerland and Tottenham’s defeats to Liverpool and Inter Milan.
Having now returned to training, Alli could be made available for Saturday’s trip to Brighton, where Spurs will be aiming to avoid a fourth straight defeat in all competitions.
But Pochettino has talked up the importance of being careful with returning players, suggesting Alli may not be ready to start on the south coast.
“We’re never going to put our interests in front of a player by taking risks with a player,” Pochettino said in his weekly press conference (via the Evening Standard).
“It’s impossible. We’re never going to put a player at risk because we want to win.
“We need to win and the most important thing is all with all players who are going to be on the pitch, we need to feel they’re 100 per cent. Of course football, it’s a sport where you always assume risk, but not consciously.
“If you’re conscious you are going to take a risk, it’s impossible for us to take a decision and then something wrong happens when you knew it was a massive risk.
“We need to wait tomorrow to assess him (Alli), to see if he’ll be part of the squad, Thursday was a recovery day for everyone and it’s difficult to judge today if he’s ready or not to play.
“Tomorrow (Friday) we’ll see if he’s ready or not to be part, if it’s possible for him to help or maybe if we need to wait a few days more to involved him in the competition.”
Alli scored Tottenham’s first goal of the season in the opening weekend win at Newcastle United but has failed to find the net for club or country since.
That said, his absence has been glaringly apparent during his lay-off, and Spurs clearly need Alli back to full fitness as soon as possible given their current form.