Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld will miss Tottenham’s Champions League second leg match against Juventus. The defender has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury.
Although the Champions League second leg match is a week away, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino does not want to rush the defender back into play. Alderweireld suffered the injury a week ago in training.
The defender has been suffering from a hamstring problem for much of the season. Alderweireld missed three months of the term and only returned to the team in early February.
Pochettino addressed the media ahead of Tottenham’s FA Cup fixture against Rochdale on Thursday. He spoke about Alderweireld’s injury.
“He is still not participating with the group,” Pochettino said. “The answer is clear.”
According to the Tottenham manager, Alderweireld not only suffered from a muscle problem, but a tendon tear. It is the seriousness of the injury that has led him to keep the Belgian from participating in such an important match.
“Sometimes we are confused about what it means to be fit,” Pochettino explained. “After you tear the muscle, you can be fit to participate in training but then it’s to be fit to play and then [to be fit] to compete.
“Sometimes the people create an expectation and then we are the bad guys when we say: ‘No, you cannot play,’ or: ‘We start to build your fitness step by step.’
“We don’t take our decisions based on public opinion. When we take them, it’s because we have assessed and analysed. We look after the whole situation, not just a bit of it. The people see this player is fit and he should play. It’s not like that, especially with this kind of injury.”
The 28-year-old defender’s contract with Spurs runs until 2019. Alderweireld arrived from Atletico Madrid for just over £14 million in 2015.
Will Alderweireld’s omission from the Champions League second leg match against Juventus hurt the team’s chance of going through?