Tottenham boss Antonio Conte fears Cristian Romero’s hamstring injury is “serious”.
The Argentina defender suffered the problem playing for his country in last week’s World Cup qualifier against Brazil and a second scan is due later this week, which will determine the severity of the injury.
Conte does not think it will be good news, which is blow for Spurs as they play 11 times before the end of the year, starting with a Europa Conference League trip to NS Mura on Thursday.
“I don’t know the time he needs to recover. Surely his injury is more serious than Giovani Lo Celso or Dane Scarlett.
“We have to wait for the next scan and then the doctor can give more information on the dates for his recovery.”
Conte’s predecessor Nuno Espirito Santo caused a stir by leaving his entire first-choice starting XI at home for the game away to Vitesse Arnhem last month in order to save them for a Premier League match at West Ham.
They ended up losing both and Conte says he will take everyone who is available for the game in Slovenia against the competition’s lowest-ranked side.
“There are other players that need game time. For us this competition is important. We want to take this fixture seriously and we want to go through to the next step.
“For sure I will make the rotation because personally I need to know much better the players, because there are players I need to see during a game and a competition.”
The third-tier European competition ought to present Conte with a chance to end Tottenham’s trophy drought, though whether they can challenge on a bigger scale remains to be seen.
“I know this is not simple, I am honest to understand this, but we want to try and build something important and try and lift trophies together, this must be our target,” he said.
“To build something ready to fight, in England it is not easy because the other teams are very, very strong but I know that through the work we can improve a lot.
“If you ask me how much time we need before it happens, it is very difficult to tell you this. In our heart and mind, this must be our inspiration and we are to try to do this for the best of the club.”