Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino hopes Toby Alderweireld will be fit for the game against Swansea City a week on Saturday.
The Belgian defender was initially expected to make a swift return to action after picking up a knee injury but he has been out for more than a month.
Alderweireld has resumed training but will not be available for this weekend’s derby at Chelsea.
However, he will be assessed next week and Spurs believe he could be ready to return when Swansea visit White Hart Lane.
“Before, our expectation was for him to recover (sooner). It’s true that we miss him a lot,” Pochettino said at a press conference on Thursday.
“But we are happy – he was involved with the squad to do some boxes and with the ball.
“I don’t want to be wrong again; we hope that as soon as possible he can be available again.
“Next week will be key at the end of the week to see if he will be available or not for Swansea.”
Pochettino must decide who to deploy as a makeshift left-back for the Chelsea game as Danny Rose is suspended and Ben Davies is out injured.
Pochettino said: “Ben is still out; he is injured and Danny Rose is suspended.
“We played against Sunderland with Jan Vertonghen at full-back or we can play with Kieran Trippier on the left or we can play with Kevin Wimmer. We have different options to play.”