Antonio Conte has confirmed that Tottenham star Richarlison will “have a scan” to determine the extent of a hamstring injury he suffered at the World Cup.
Richarlison was a standout performer for Brazil in the group stages. He scored three goals which included a remarkable scissor kick that has been shortlisted for the goal of the tournament.
The competition ultimately ended in frustration for Brazil as they were beaten by Croatia in the quarter-finals.
Richarlison has reported back to Spurs and is awaiting a prognosis, while his team-mates prepare to return to Premier League action with a Boxing Day visit to Brentford.
He missed a handful of games prior to the World Cup due to a previous hamstring issue and has yet to open his league account since joining from Everton over the summer.
Antonio Conte told SPURSPLAY on Tuesday: “For Richy, he’s going to have an MRI to know the importance of the injury. After tomorrow we will see very well the time he needs to recover.”
Richarlison was one of three players to return from the World Cup with fitness concerns, with Wales defender Ben Davies and Uruguay’s Rodrigo Bentancur both forced off during the final game of the group phase.
The outlook is clearer on the latter pair, with Davies ready to go and Bentancur likely to be in contention for New Year’s Day.
“Ben is okay and started to work with us last week. He has recovered. Rodrigo has started to work. I think that he’s going to be good for the game against Aston Villa,” Conte confirmed.
Ex-Premier League forward Noel Whelan thinks Richarlison should form a two-man attack with Harry Kane when he is back fit.
“He looked a lot better going through the middle,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“It was a fantastic World Cup for him. He showed real quality and class while he was out there.
“This injury is a massive blow for him personally, to lose that momentum.
“But Conte will have looked at those Brazil games, and I think he will have seen what everyone else did.
“Richarlison is probably more effective going through the centre. Could he play in a two-man strike force with Kane?
“Can Kane play behind Richarlison? He likes to drop in.
“An injury would have been the biggest fear for both Richarlison and Conte. Tottenham need these options in this busy period.”
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