Jan Vertonghen has handed Tottenham Hotspur a pre-Champions League final injury scare after leaving Amsterdam on crutches and wearing a protective boot.
Central defender Vertonghen played in a face mask during Tottenham’s incredible 3-2 victory against Ajax on Wednesday night.
But he was pictured by a Belgian television crew boarding the Spurs bus that took the squad to the airport after the game on crutches and in a boot on his right foot.
Tottenham say that Vertonghen suffered a small ankle injury in the first half of the semi-final second leg, but played on and was put in the boot as a precaution.
There will be further assessments to determine whether or not the 32-year-old, who stayed with the rest of the squad at the Lodge accommodation at the club’s training ground after returning to England in the early hours of Thursday morning, sustained any ligament damage.
Vertonghen did not reappear with the rest of the Tottenham squad to celebrate with the delirious travelling fans after most of the Johan Cruyff Arena had emptied and also left without going through the mixed zone in front of the waiting press.
With three weeks until Tottenham face Liverpool in the final in Madrid, the club and Vertonghen will be hoping for good news over his injury.
Vertonghen had been forced off in the first leg of the semi-final with a nasty wound after clashing heads with Toby Alderweireld, but was later cleared of suffering concussion. He was left out of the Premier League defeat to Bournemouth as a precaution, but returned to face Ajax in the second leg.
He will almost certainly miss Tottenham’s final Premier League game of the season against Everton on Sunday with qualification to next season’s Champions League all-but secured.
Pochettino should be boosted by the return of midfielder Harry Winks and defenders Davinson Sanchez and Serge Aurier by the time his side face Liverpool on June 1. Left-back Danny Rose said: “We’ll have a few players back from injury, which will be a huge bonus.”