Antonio Conte to take break from management due to surgery
Antonio Conte faces a spell away from the touchline after undergoing surgery to remove his gallbladder yesterday. The Tottenham Hotspur head coach had been diagnosed with cholecystitis, a condition which involves inflammation of the gallbladder, after suffering from severe abdominal pain.
Conte underwent surgery yesterday and will only return to work after a “period of recuperation”, Spurs announced. No decisions have yet been made regarding the length of Conte’s absence, although it appears likely that he will miss Sunday’s home game against Manchester City.
However, Conte sounded upbeat yesterday. “Thank you for your lovely messages, my surgery has gone well and I’m already feeling better,”
Conte said in a post on Instagram last night. “Now’s time to recover, I can’t wait to get back on the field with the team.” Gallbladder removal surgery is a common procedure, but the recovery time depends on the nature of the operation. NHS advice is that fully recovering from gallbladder removal surgery can take between two and eight weeks, depending on the procedure.
Tottenham have a busy few weeks ahead, with Sunday’s match against City followed by a trip to face Leicester City the following weekend.
After that, they travel to Italy to play AC Milan in the Champions League. Cristian Stellini, Conte’s assistant coach, is likely to fill in for the 53-year-old while he recovers.
Stellini has already deputised for the head coach a few times this season, including in their Champions League match against Marseille, when Conte was suspended. He also fulfilled the club’s media duties for their FA Cup tie against Preston North End last Saturday.
Speaking last month, Conte had revealed the emotional toll that the deaths of three of his friends have taken on him in recent months.
He has mourned the loss of Tottenham’s fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone, his friend Sinisa Mihajlovic and former team-mate Gianluca Vialli over the past five months.
“For sure, this season is a difficult season from a personal aspect,” Conte said. “Because to lose, in such a short time, three people that I knew very well, Gian Piero Ventrone, then Sinisa and now Gianluca. It was not simple
“For sure, when this situation happens you have important reflections. Because many times we think and we give a lot of importance to our work and we forget the family, we forget that we need to have more time for us.”