Antonio Conte has revealed that Spurs defender Cristian Romero will be out with a hamstring injury until 2022, but compatriot Giovani Lo Celso is closing in on a return to action.
Romero and Lo Celso both came back from Argentina duty with injuries following the November international break.
Ahead of Thursday's Premier League game at home to Brentford, Conte said that Romero's problem is 'very serious'.
"The news is not positive, not good," he began. "The injury is serious.
"I think it will take time to see him again, surely next year. We have to check his injury week by week but the injury is serious and now he's trying to recover, but he needs a long time. It's a pity because he's an important player for us. The injury is very serious."
Romero joined on an initial loan deal from Atalanta in the summer, with a purchase clause standing at around £47m. It was revealed earlier this week that Romero's transfer history is being investigated by Italian authorities over claims of false accounting at Juventus.
Conte was also asked about Lo Celso's fitness as well as how he can fit into the team. The midfielder has struggled to make an impact at Tottenham following his arrival from Real Betis in 2019, either because of injuries or poor form.
"For Giovani, the situation is much better than Romero," Conte confirmed.
"My expectation is to see him the day after we play against Brentford. He has started to work on the pitch.
"Giovani is another player we need to try to exploit, he's a good player. Now I want to work with him."