Oliver Skipp has suffered a setback in his injury recovery and is now set to sit out Tottenham's trip to Aston Villa on Saturday.
Manager Antonio Conte has been frustrated by the former Norwich loanee's recent absence, with his last outing coming in the 2-0 defeat at Chelsea back in January.
Skipp trained on grass on Monday and Tuesday but reported discomfort in his pelvis and has been told by specialists to rest, ensuring he will miss Spurs' crucial match at Villa Park at the weekend.
Conte had previously revealed he thought Skipp was 'very, very close' to returning to the matchday squad alongside Ryan Sessegnon, but this latest setback will ensure Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg continues to start in central midfield alongside Rodrigo Bentancur for the foreseeable future.
The pair have formed a good partnership in Tottenham's recent run of form which has seen them win four of their last five Premier League games, shooting them into fourth ahead of Arsenal having played a game more.
Spurs have also been without defender Japhet Tanganga since that same Chelsea game, while Sergio Reguilon was ruled out of the 5-1 mauling of Newcastle on Sunday having failed a fitness test.
Wing-backs Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal netted in that thumping, with Ben Davies, Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn also getting on the scoresheet.