Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks faces a longer injury layoff than initially anticipated, as the 22-year-old is still some way off a first team return, according to the Evening Standard.
An ankle injury meant Winks hadn't played since February, and despite undergoing surgery on a recurring ankle injury in May - shortly after extending his contract with Spurs - he was hopeful of being match fit for the start of the 2018/19 season.
However, things haven't gone quite to plan, and while Spurs have been coy about putting a timeline on his return, a lot can be taken from the fact that Winks hasn't featured in any of their pre-season matches.
While the feeling around the club is that of optimism that Winks will make a full recovery, the club is reportedly concerned that he is still feeling slight discomfort in his ankle and are not willing to fast track his return due to the persisting nature of the injury.
Winks' injury is one of several fitness concerns facing Spurs, as Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela remain sidelined with short-term injuries, while Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Hugo Lloris, Moussa Dembele and Eric Dier are doubts for the first game due to involvement in the latter stages at the World Cup.
Such issues would have represented a clear opportunity for Winks to establish himself in the Spurs' first team - meaning the news of an extended absence will be doubly disappointing.
Winks made 25 appearances for the Spurs' first team last season before being sidelined with injury.