By Harry Sykes
Young Tottenham goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie will undergo tests in a fortnight as he steps up his recovery from a potentially life-threatening injury.
The 16-year-old sustained a ruptured spleen and internal bleeding in the wake of an aerial duel with an opponent during a clash between Belgium Under-17s and their France counterparts at the start of last month.
The Spurs academy keeper carried on playing the match but collapsed afterwards and lost consciousness, and was rushed to a French hospital in Saint-Brieuc.
De Bie was in a critical condition but has fully recovered from the freak injury and is now on the mend ahead of a possible return to Tottenham training.
“He’s in the wound-healing phase,” De Bie’s father told Belgian publication La Derniere Heure. “He feels very good, but we’ll have to wait for the tests on 15 March to be certain that everything is OK inside. He’ll then be able to start training little-by-little with Tottenham.”
Spurs have high hopes for De Bie and will hope he is soon able to join in training at the club’s Enfield headquarters.
“It takes a huge coincidence of circumstances for it to happen, notably that the floating ribs are lifted and the blow is received in an area of four centimetres squared,” his father added. “So Jonathan was really unlucky.”
The teenager is currently learning his trade at the Tottenham academy, and is behind the likes of senior men Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm and Pau Lopez in the goalkeeper pecking order at the club.
De Bie became the latest of a large group of Belgians in the Spurs set-up when he completed a move to the club last summer from Belgian outfit KV Mechelen after initially emerging through the ranks at Anderlecht.
He joined countrymen Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen, who are all key members of the first-team squad, at White Hart Lane.
In other Tottenham transfer news, a forward has signed after Spurs agreed terms on an out-of-window deal.