Football: Spurs defender Alderweireld out until February

Tottenham Hotspur's Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld lies injured during the UEFA Champions League Group H football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid at Wembley Stadium in London, on Nov 1, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino confirmed on Tuesday (Dec 12) that Belgium international defender Toby Alderweireld's hamstring problem will keep him out of action until February.

Alderweireld, 28, sustained the injury against Real Madrid on Nov 1 and the Belgian is expected to miss another eight weeks of competitive action.

"We cannot change the reality. The reality is that he is injured and cannot play until February," Pochettino said ahead of sixth-placed Spurs' clash with Brighton on Wednesday.

"You miss the players who are not fit but football is a collective sport about the team not individuals.

"Some players have more influence on the team. But we have squad enough and players who can play." Alderweireld's layoff means the defender is likely to sit out crunch Premier League games against Manchester City and Manchester United but could return in February for matches against Liverpool and Arsenal.

Spurs then face Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 on Feb 13.

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