Ange Postecoglou said Tottenham “can no longer afford injuries” after confirming Micky van de Ven and James Maddison will not play again in 2023.
Van de Ven suffered a hamstring injury shortly before Maddison limped off with an ankle problem in the 4-1 home defeat against Chelsea.
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Maddison was initially called up to Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad but withdrew on Friday morning as the extent of the problem became clear.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Wolves, Postecoglou highlighted his side’s growing fitness problems and confirmed that Richarlison will be sidelined after undergoing groin surgery.
“Micky has a hamstring injury which we knew was important,” said Postecoglou. “Maybe a few months for him, heading into the New Year.
“Madders is a lot worse than we thought. Obviously he came out with an ankle injury but the next day he wasn’t well so we took him out of the scan. Again, it wasn’t good for him maybe in the new year for him.
“Richy had the surgery we had planned because he has been fighting it since the first day and since the international break is coming up, we thought it was a good time for him to do it. It should only be a month if everything goes well. .
“We know we will have to make changes but the boys who came in have trained hard and understand how we want to play.
“I know people said it was an advantage that we didn’t go to Europe or the cups but if we had, some of these guys would have had some playing time. That’s the trick. From our point of view, we can.” so we can’t afford injuries, we have to be careful about the kind of game time we give people.”
Reflecting on Van de Ven’s injury, Postecoglou mentioned the absence of Destiny Udogie and Cristian Romero, who will both be suspended at Molineux after being sent off against Chelsea.
“Every absence affects the team,” he said. “Unusual for us, we lost three back four. That’s where we are affected more than anything. If it was just Micky, it wouldn’t affect us so much but we have to bring in three different players in the back four and that is the biggest challenge for us.”
Ben Davies is available again following an ankle problem as Tottenham look to overcome their first defeat of the season – a game that saw nine VAR checks and 21 extra minutes.
Postecoglou believes the long standoff caused by VAR could lead to more injuries in the future.
“I will not directly associate myself with Micky’s injury, but I have been tempted to throw balls for them to kick,” he said.
“It’s the reason we warm up but if you’re going to the game… The fact that there was only 47 minutes of game time the other night or whatever it was, 110, that’s not good for the type of athletes. we are here. It’s worrying.”