Spurs defender Matt Doherty will be out until the end of the season after rupturing his medial collateral ligament (MCL) against Aston Villa on Saturday.
After a tackle from Matty Cash in the first half, Doherty was able to walk off the field, but the 30-year-old is expected to miss 12 weeks with a knee injury.
After falling out of favor with both Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo at Tottenham, the Dubliner has fought his way back into the first team under Conte, making 35 appearances for both clubs and country this season.
It’s a setback for Antonio Conte’s team, as Matt Doherty had been in fine form recently, scoring twice and assisting three times in his last five games as Tottenham climbed to fourth place, three points ahead of Arsenal in fifth.
The 4-0 thrashing of Aston Villa on Saturday, which included a hat-trick from Heung-Min Son, was their sixth win in seven Premier League games, boosting their chances of finishing in the top four.
Doherty’s injury at Villa Park was the one blemish on an otherwise excellent performance, as the Republic of Ireland international walked off in the 21st minute, with Tottenham leading 1-0 thanks to Son’s early goal. Later, he was seen exiting the stadium with a knee brace on.
After struggling for form since joining the club in 2020, the former Wolves man impressed playing at both right and left wing-back under Conte. On the left, Sergio Reguilon is expected to be his long-term replacement.
Doherty will also be unavailable for the Republic of Ireland’s Nations League matches against Ukraine, Armenia, and Scotland in June.
This is a major setback for Ireland ahead of the Nations League this summer, which kicks out on June 4 with a visit from Ukraine to the Aviva Stadium, albeit that match is still in doubt.
After that, they’ll travel to Armenia (June 7), Scotland (June 11), and Ukraine (June 14) until the action resumes in September.
The news of Doherty’s injury will have come as a shock to him since he has established himself as a key player under Antonio Conte.
Tottenham’s remaining fixtures
April 16 – Brighton (h)
April 23 – Brentford (a), live on Sky Sports
April 30 – Leicester (h)
May 7 – Liverpool (a)
May 12 – Arsenal (h), live on Sky Sports
May 15 – Burnley (h)
May 22 – Norwich (a)