Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen faces up to eight weeks on the sidelines after tearing ankle ligaments on the eve of Belgium’s Euro 2016 quarter-final with Wales.
Before travelling up to Lille on Thursday, the 29-year-old sustained what was initially reported to be a twisted ankle during training at their team base in Bordeaux.
Vertonghen was pictured arriving in northern France on crutches and Belgium head coach Marc Wilmots has confirmed the defender will miss the rest of Euro 2016, with the ankle injury expected to keep the defender out for six to eight weeks.
“I am going to explain everything to you,” Wilmots said at the pre-match press conference. “I blew the whistle to stop the training session and he went down.
“As he controlled the ball with left foot, he turned his ankle. He had a scan here at Lille and he has torn two of three external ligaments in his ankle. That means his European Championship is over.
“I am not going to talk about a tragedy because there’s a lot more tragic things in life than that, but it’s a sporting tragedy for him, if you will, because he was a very important player for us.
“Mentally and physically, he really was completely fit. He had a lot of desire and unfortunately fate decided that on a certain movement that he would do 10,000 times, on that specific movement his ankle turned and tore his ligament.
“That’s exactly what happened so I can tell you he is out for the remainder of the tournament.”
Vertonghen will not only miss the remainder of Euro 2016 but also the start of Tottenham’s Premier League campaign.
“Based on our forecast, it should be between six and eight weeks,” Wilmots said.
“He suffered the same injury three or four months ago and I think he took six weeks to come back from the injury. It all depends on everything with regards to his rehabilitation.
“We’ve got in touch with Mr Pochettino and the Spurs doctor to see how he will receive treatment in due course.”