Erik Lamela could make first Tottenham start since 13-month injury absence, says Mauricio Pochettino

James Benge

Erik Lamela could make his first start for Tottenham since overcoming a hip injury that sidelined him for over a year, Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed.

The Argentina forward played his first games since October 2016 in a 2-1 defeat at Leicester last month and has so far completed 49 minutes across three Premier League games.

Pochettino could opt to rotate his side for Wednesday’s visit of Brighton to Wembley Stadium, with Spurs due to head to Manchester to take on Pep Guardiola’s league-leading City side on Saturday.

That would open the door for Lamela to return to the starting XI but Pochettino insisted that he had not yet made a decision.

“I still haven’t decided,” Pochettino said. “I will decide today for tomorrow.

“He has a chance to play from the start tomorrow.”

Lamela required two operations on his hip during a frustrating 13-month period on the sidelines and admitted that he feared his career was over during his lengthy injury absence.

Unsurprisingly the 25-year-old admitted he still had work to do to regain his match sharpness, telling the Tottenham programme: "Finally I'm playing some minutes after a very long time - still I don't feel 100 per cent fit, but in time I will find my form.

“I think time will help. After a very long period of injury, you need time to be like before and find your best level.”

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