By Harry Sykes
Erik Lamela will not play again for Tottenham until next year, according to a report.
The Evening Standard claim Spurs do not expect the attacking midfielder, 25, to be in contention for a first-team place until late December.
This would rule him out for the first half of the campaign and mean he will be out for at least another four months.
The Standard report that Tottenham are nevertheless confident that Lamela will make a full recovery from the hip injuries that have sidelined him for 11 months.
Lamela has not played since last October and underwent hip surgery at the end of last season in a bid to cure him of the problem that has baffled doctors.
The 23-times Argentina international underwent surgery on his left hip in April and then his right a month later.
There has been speculation in the last 24 hours that Lamela might not ever play again but the Standard report Tottenham have a completely different expectation.
It is said that the plan was always for the player to be omitted from the club’s Champions League squad for the group stages.
However, clubs are allowed to make up to three changes to their squads by February 1 in time for the knockout stages.
Lamela joined Spurs from Roma in the summer of 2013 for a then club-record £30million.
He has made 121 appearances for the Londoners, scoring 19 goals and supplying 31 assists from all competitions.
In other Tottenham team news, a Sky journalist has revealed that a last-gasp Spurs striker switch failed after an agreement had been reached.