February 18, 2020 / 2:16 PM / a month ago

Mourinho doesn't expect Son to return this season

LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho does not expect forward Son Heung-min to play again this season after the South Korean fractured his right arm at the weekend, he said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur - Villa Park, Birmingham, Britain - Picture taken February 16, 2020 Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min holds his arm during the match

Son’s injury leaves Spurs short on attacking options for their Champions League last-16 first-leg match against RB Leipzig on Wednesday.

Son, who has 14 goals and eight assists in the league and Champions League this season, is set to undergo surgery with no timeframe given for his return.

Mourinho said a Spurs statement that Son would be out for a “number of weeks” was fairly optimistic.

“I’m not going to count on him again this season,” Mourinho told a news conference. “If he plays two or three games then it’s because he (Spurs’ press officer) is very optimistic, but I’m not counting on him.”

Spurs striker Harry Kane is sidelined until April with a hamstring injury and Mourinho compared the loss of Son to climbing up stairs that break without warning.

“We are holding by our arms on the balcony. Now we have two options, to fall and die... The other is to climb,” the Portuguese said. “We will be on that balcony fighting with everything we have.

“No strikers, no (transfer) market, no players, nothing. The only help now is our crowd, the Tottenham supporters. That’s the only thing I ask because I can’t ask any more from the players that they’re giving, which is everything they have,” Mourinho added.

“The situation couldn’t be worse... In some periods I was worried about not having attacking options on the bench, now it’s not having attacking options on the pitch.”

Mourinho said 18-year-old striker Troy Parrott was not ready to fill in for Son or Kane, and that winger Ryan Sessegnon could not play as a striker.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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