Team news ahead of United - updates on Richy and Deki
Mon 17 October 2022, 17:30|Tottenham Hotspur
Antonio Conte confirmed Richarlison’s injury ‘is not serious’ but the forward will miss our Premier League clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford, most likely alongside Dejan Kulusevski, on Wednesday evening (8.15pm).
The Brazil international went down holding his left calf after 52 minutes of our 2-0 win against Everton on Saturday. That raised fears that he may be a doubt for the World Cup - Brazil begin their campaign in Qatar against Serbia on 24 November - but asked about that in his press conference on Monday, Antonio responded: “No, absolutely not.”
Speaking to SPURSPLAY after training, Antonio told us: “Richy has his injury, it’s not a serious injury, but he needs a bit of time to recover. But, for sure, it’s not a serious injury. He was really worried after the game against Everton.
“Deki is another player who needs a bit of time to recover. The medical department are working in a strong way to give me the possibility to have an important player in my choice, but we have to wait. Lucas is available, he’s working and starting to have good physical condition.”
Asked about team news by the media, Antonio said: “Tomorrow we have another training session, and we will see, but it will be very difficult to have players returning for the game against United. You know the injury about Richarlison. He is doing a scan, an MRI and then we will see how much time he needs to recover but, for sure, against United he is not available.
“Kulusevski is working. We will see, we will see. We have to go day by day with him and the medical department are working a lot to try to recover him, but we don't know for the game against United.”
It was put to Antonio later in his conference that it would be a relief for Richarlison to know his injury won’t keep him out of the World Cup. “It's an injury but not so serious,” Antonio responded. “He has a problem in his calf. I think he needs a bit of time to recover and then to be fit. I hope for him to play other games with us before the World Cup but for sure the injury is not so serious.
“I'm happy for the player because to play in the World Cup is the dream for every single player and for this reason, I am happy for him. Also, we're talking about a player that when he goes to play, he gives you everything.”
Back to SPURSPLAY, and we pointed out that while the wider focus when a player is injured will start turning to the World Cup, any slight injury that forces a player to miss games is a big issue for us as we continue to work through our schedule of 13 games in 43 days - United is sixth in that run until the break for the World Cup in a month’s time.
“It's a problem for me, a problem for the Club, to play so many games in such a short time is very, very difficult, because you don’t give the possibility for the players to recover,” he said. “At the same time, we have to try to manage very well the training sessions, because in only two days and a half we have to play again, a tough game, and when you play Premier League or Champions League, you are always talking about a massive game. Sometimes, you can make rotation. Other times, you have to play with the best starting 11, but the risks are very high.”