Exclusive: Tottenham braced for shattering blow to key player

First published: 25th January, 2016, 22:50 PM

By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this

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Tottenham await scan results on Jan Vertonghen’s injury on Tuesday amid fears he could be ruled out for the rest of the season with sprained knee ligaments, Football Insider sources understand.

Vertonghen was assessed by specialists at a hospital in Barcelona on Monday after flying out with the rest of the Spurs squad to their mid-season training camp.

A Tottenham source has told Football Insider that the Belgium international could have sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee.

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The defender, who limped off 74 minutes into the team’s 3-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, has been told by medics to brace himself for a lengthy absence.

Tottenham are awaiting the results of scans later on Tuesday before they can determine the precise extent of the injury but they fear Vertonghen will be sidelined for at least 12 weeks.

The worst-case scenario is that the centre-back will not be able to return for four months, ruling him out of playing again for Mauricio Pochettino’s title challengers this season.

Vertonghen’s expected lengthy absence is a shattering blow for Spurs as they attempt to maintain their Premier League title challenge.

The 28-year-old’s partnership with countryman Toby Alderweireld has been the bedrock of Pochettino’s team this season, with the pair playing every minute of the team’s Premier League campaign until Vertonghen was substituted at Selhurst Park.

The defender injured a knee when he fell awkwardly after seemingly being elbowed by Palace striker Connor Wickham in a second-half bust-up.

Vertonghen, who left the ground on crutches on Saturday evening, took to Twitter after the match to reveal there was “no update on the injury yet”, a point echoed by manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Speaking at his post-match media conference, Pochettino said: “Jan, we will assess tomorrow. It looks painful but we will assess it tomorrow and see how he is. I don’t want to make any judgement now.

“We will wait to look at the incident too. He is feeling not so good, his knee also. He didn’t speak to me about the incident yet.”