Jose Mourinho does not expect Steven Bergwijn to play again this season as Tottenham’s injury crisis continues to escalate.
The Dutch winger suffered a sprained ankle during Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Burnley and head coach Mourinho believes the injury is bad enough to keep him out for the rest of the campaign.
It is a crushing blow for Mourinho and Spurs on the eve of their Champions League last-16 second leg with RB Leipzig, where they have to overturn a 1-0 deficit in Germany.
Bergwijn joins Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in the treatment room and Tottenham’s attacking options look bare for a game in which they must score two goals to progress in normal time.
“Steven, I don’t expect him to play this season,” Mourinho said. “Can I believe it? Yes, I can.
“I have never known it like this, especially speaking about traumatic injuries. Only Harry Kane’s injury was not a traumatic injury but a typical injury of the December period in the Premier League.
“Hugo Lloris, (Moussa) Sissoko, Sonny, Steven Bergwijn are all traumatic and never for a couple of weeks. That’s what it is.
“We were psychologically more down with the other injures.
“This one, from three, four or five to six or seven is the same. No problem.”
Bergwijn’s absence will put further pressure on Dele Alli, who has been playing in a false nine position in the last few weeks.
Alli, who could be facing a Football Association ban for an ill-judged social media post about the coronavirus, says there is no time for moping.
“That’s football. It’s obviously very disappointing,” the England midfielder said. “This isn’t a time to get our violins out.
“We have to step up and deal with these situations. It’s all a part of it, as disappointing as it is.
“We have to show our character now as a team and the depth we have in the squad.
“Everyone needs to step up and those who aren’t playing as much need to come through and show why they’re here.
“It’s disappointing to see Steve get injured – a new player who has come in and done well, and a top guy. I wish him a speedy recovery.”
On his role, he said: “It’s probably not my most natural position but I’ve had a few games to get used to it.
“We’re in a position here where everyone, all over the pitch, everyone needs to step up. We need to turn it around. I like scoring goals.”
Mourinho said Ben Davies will be out for up to two weeks with a hamstring injury, meaning centre-back Jan Vertonghen or winger Ryan Sessegnon will play at left-back in the Red Bull Arena.
On a grim news day for Spurs, there was at least some positivity after Harry Kane was seen training on the grass.
The England captain has not played since rupturing a hamstring tendon on New Year’s Day, but his return does not seem too far away, judging by his workout in an open training session.
Kane, who had surgery to repair the issue, was seen twisting and turning and also shooting.
Alli does not want the club’s leading scorer to rush back.
“Harry’s an amazing athlete and professional,” Alli said. “He’s picked up a few injuries since I’ve been here and every time he’s recovered very well.
“You can see how motivated and dedicated he is. I wasn’t surprised to see him out there.
“He works so hard on his game. Obviously it’s a massive boost. Even when he comes to watch the games, it’s a boost.
“He’s always speaking, trying to motivate every one which is good. He’s a real leader.
“As player who has had a few hamstring injuries, it’s a weird one because I don’t want him to rush it because I know how much it can come back, but at the same time we need him. As long as he does his recovery properly and comes back strong, I’ll be happy.”