Cristian Stellini hints at possible return date for Tottenham manager Antonio Conte

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Tottenham assistant manager Cristian Stellini has confirmed Antonio Conte is unlikely to return for next weekend’s Premier League meeting with Chelsea.

Conte is recovering from gallbladder surgery in Italy after previously defying doctor’s orders and making a quick-fire return to the dugout for the losses to Leicester and AC Milan.

Stellini is in charge of first-team affairs until the Spurs manager is healthy enough to come back to work and oversaw a 2-0 win over West Ham on Sunday.

Emerson Royal and Heung-min Son scored the goals to send Spurs into the top four, leapfrogging Newcastle.

Spurs host rivals Chelsea on Sunday before games against Sheffield United, Milan and Wolves, with Stellini tipping Conte to return for the latter two.

“I’m not expecting that Antonio is back for Chelsea,” he said.

“But I expect he will be back the week after Chelsea, for Milan or Wolverhampton. We have also the FA Cup game. Maybe not Chelsea but we don’t know.

“If Antonio feels well and he can leave some stress without pain or something, Antonio will be back in that moment.”