Tottenham's midfield enforcer Mousa Dembele has made as few as six appearances this season, having been restricted by ankle and hip problems. Luckily for Spurs though, it looks as though Dembele's on his way to making a full recovery.
The Belgium fan favourite has now resumed training. Assuming everything goes without a hitch, Dembele could actually feature in the Carabao Cup fourth-round tie against West Ham at Wembley.
Pochettino explained to the Evening Standard: "Dembele is on the list and we have until Wednesday to decide the starting 11 but in the last few days he has been doing well."
Fellow long term absentee Erik Lamela hasn't registered a touch since October 25th last season (2-1 defeat to Liverpool) and was also expected to be an option for Wednesday, but after two intensive hip operations, it seems Lamela needs further time to recoup. The predicted return date given by Pochettino was obviously a little optimistic.
"Lamela is not on the list. He is doing well but he is still not available and I don’t know when he will be. After nearly a year out, I can’t say whether it will be in one week or one month. It depends on his evolution."
"We have to assess him every day, see how he is feeling and then decide when he is ready, but we need to be careful. After a long period out, the psychological aspect is so important. It is different when you only train but don’t play."
"We need to take care with him because there is always a risk, but he is doing well and we will provide the chance to play when we believe it is right."
Lamela is a definite no show for Wednesday night then, but Tottenham will still feel excited at the prospect of having arguably their best midfielder drafted back into the side. A frightening prospect for rivals considering the purple patch Spurs were going through despite his absence.