By Tottenham correspondent Tony Hughes
Mousa Dembele faces a race against time to be fit for the north London derby on Saturday of next week.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that the midfield kingpin will miss “10 days to two weeks” with a groin injury.
Dembele came off at half-time in Spurs’ FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace last Sunday and is out of Thursday’s Europa League last-32 second leg against Fiorentina.
He is joined on the sidelines by Harry Kane, who has a broken nose, along with Tom Carroll and long-term absentees Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N’jie.
Pochettino expects England striker Kane, who injured his nose against Palace, to be fit to face Swansea in the Premier League on Sunday.
But Dembele, undisputably one of Spurs’ best performers this season, faces a battle to be fit for the crucial clash at home to Arsenal on 5 March.
He will miss the clash with Swansea and the trip to West Ham next Wednesday after a recurrence of the same injury that sidelined him around Christmas.
“The good news is that Hugo [Lloris] is back in the group and available for tomorrow,” Pochettino told a media briefing on Wednesday afternoon. “The bad news is that Harry and Mousa Dembele are out for tomorrow.
“Harry Kane will be available for Sunday. On medical advice, it is impossible [for him] to play against Fiorentina.
“Mousa we expect [to be out for] longer than Harry – 10 days to two weeks. It’s not a big issue, but similar to before. It’s small but we have a lot of games ahead, so it’s come at a very bad moment.”