Tottenham have confirmed that Eric Dier has returned to full training after being out of action since early December with appendicitis.
The England international was an ever-present for Mauricio Pochettino's side in the first half of the season, but missed the busy festive period after falling ill with an appendix issue.
Ahead of the north London side's Premier League clash with Fulham on Sunday afternoon, Pochettino played down suggestions that Dier could be ready to go straight into the starting line-up, but confirmed that he could feature as a substitute.
TEAM NEWS: @ericdier (appendicitis) – returned to full training@HKane (ankle) – commenced rehabilitation@LucasMoura7 (knee) – commenced on-field rehabilitation@VictorWanyama (knee) – begun to reintegrate into training— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 18, 2019
Heung-Min Son – away with South Korea at Asian Cup pic.twitter.com/Nc5BH4poRM
He said (as quoted by Football.London): "No, maybe he is going to be on the bench, but he still needs to recover his fitness.”
With Dier missing over a month's worth of football, and Harry Kane now expected to be out until early March, Pochettino acknowledged that Spurs' growing injury list would prove to be a challenge.
He added: "It's true that it's a challenge. We try to be positive, we try to make sure the squad see we're not affected. That is so important. The reality is that we are not affected. Of course we are affected when some players are injured, but the number one and number 25 we are affected in the same way.
"Of course it's a good possibility to show that we are stronger, that with different circumstances we can cope and play well."