Battered Vertonghen set to return for Spurs at Ajax
Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen could return for his side’s Champions League semi-final, second leg against Ajax Amsterdam on Wednesday after suffering a head injury in last week’s 1-0 home leg defeat.
The Belgian former Ajax player trained on Tuesday wearing a face mask to protect his nose, which was injured in a sickening clash of heads with team mate Toby Alderweireld.
Vertonghen, who attempted to play on last week before being substituted after seemingly struggling to stand up, missed his side’s Premier League defeat at Bournemouth on Saturday.
The club said he had not suffered a concussion.
“(Vertonghen) returned to training, continues to be monitored and will wear a face mask to protect nose,” the club confirmed, adding that fellow defender Davinson Sanchez would miss the game because of a thigh injury.
Tottenham, who face a daunting task to reach their first Champions League final, are also without leading striker Harry Kane but Son Heung-min, suspended for the first leg, will be back to offer manager Mauricio Pochettino some firepower.
Ajax are bidding to reach their first Champions League semi-final for 23 years and will be favourites after Donny van de Beek’s goal in north London last week.
Only one team of the 17 who have lost a Champions League semi-final, first leg at home have overturned the tie — when Ajax overhauled Panathinaikos in the second leg in 1995/96.
REUTERS/Writing by Martyn Herman; Editing by Hugh Lawson