(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur could be without goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Southampton, with the French international suffering from illness, manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday.
The club captain has started all but one of Tottenham’s 23 league games this season and only sat out of the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Wembley last November with a muscle injury.
“We need to wait and assess him (Lloris). I think it is flu or a virus. Everyone with this weather will struggle a bit,” Pochettino told reporters.
Third-choice goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga produced an inspired performance on his debut in the game against Palace but Lloris’ back-up Michel Vorm is also fit to step in at St Mary’s Stadium.
Defender Toby Alderweireld is close to a return to the first team fold as he recovers from a hamstring injury that has kept him out for nearly three months.
The reliable Belgian international injured himself in Tottenham’s memorable 3-1 victory over Spanish side Real Madrid in the Champions League in November.
“I‘m very pleased,” Pochettino said of the 28-year-old’s efforts to be fit for the latter half of the season.
“We are going to have a very busy period and we need all the squad available to play. If all is well he will do the warm-up (on Saturday) with the team and will be integrated gradually with the group. He will be ready as soon as possible.”
Tottenham, who have 44 points from 23 games after 13 wins, five draws and five defeats, are fifth in the table and three points behind both Chelsea and Liverpool.
Southampton are on a 10-game winless run in the league, leaving them a point and a place above the relegation zone.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge