Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that he is unsure whether or not Mousa Dembélé will return from injury in time for January.
The Belgian midfielder last made an appearance in early November when Tottenham defeated Wolves 3-2 at Molineux. However, he has since missed six Premier League games and seems set to miss another month's worth of fixtures.
When questioned about whether Dembélé would feature over the festive period, Pochettino answered: "No. I think until January we will see. It's evolution."
He continued: "Close? I don't know if it means one week, two week or one month. We need to asses him day-by-day, but I think in January he's not going to be ready. Maybe he will be ready to start to train with the team, but not at a level to play."
Dembélé's injury, coupled with Victor Wanyama's absence, has meant that rookie Oliver Skipp has been forced into action. Having made his full Premier League debut against Burnley, the Englishman has a real lack of experience and Pochettino will be keen to have Dembélé and Wanyama back as soon as possible.
On the Belgian defender, Pochettino said: "I was talking this morning with him. He feels like he's fit but there’s still some point where it still hurts him. He's recovering well and we'll see. Hopefully as soon as possible."
Starting with an away game to Everton, Tottenham will play five games in the space of 14 games as the festive fixture list starts to heat up. Sat just six points behind first placed Liverpool, Spurs could position themselves firmly in the title race if they can escape this gruelling run of fixtures unscathed.
However, an away trip to Goodison Park to face Everton is a tricky start. The Toffees have been tough at home this campaign and have lost just twice in front of their own fans. Spurs will have to be at their very best to wrap three points up for Christmas.