(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld could be out of action for two to four weeks, manager Jose Mourinho said on Wednesday, after the Portuguese initially feared the Belgium international had suffered a long-term injury.
Alderweireld sustained a groin injury in Spurs' 2-0 Premier League win over Manchester City last weekend and will miss Thursday's Europe League home game against Bulgarian side Ludogorets.
However, the Spurs centre half could return in time for next month's key Premier League clash against champions Liverpool, who are behind Mourinho's league leaders on goal difference.
"Toby has a muscular injury but it is not as big as we initially thought," Mourinho told reporters before Thursday's Europa League Group J game. "I would say (he will be out) between two and four weeks, and he will not be playing tomorrow.
"Of course it is bad news as he was playing his best football. He is an important player that we miss. But we have Davinson Sanchez."
Defender Matt Doherty is back in training after missing the last match due to a positive COVID-19 test, while attacking midfielder Erik Lamela will sit out at least the next two games with an Achilles' problem.
Spurs face Mourinho's former club and third-placed Chelsea in the league on Sunday, but the 57-year-old said they were focused solely on Thursday's Europa League clash.
"The next match is not Chelsea, it is Ludogrets," he said. "We have to win the match tomorrow and after that, we will focus on Chelsea."
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)