ottenham received a heavy blow after Antonio Conte revealed Cristian Romero suffered a “serious” hamstring injury.
The center-back, who was named Serie A Defender of the Year with Atalanta last season, has started Conte’s first two games in charge and a long layoff would hamper the rebuilding of the new head coach – the Spurs lacking quality and experience in the three full backs.
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Europa League game against NS Mura, Conte said: “We are waiting for another scan.
“Honestly, I think his injury is serious, I don’t know how long he needs to recover now.
“We have to wait for the next scan and then the doctor can give more information on the dates of his recovery.
“I don’t think about [signing another defender in] January because there is still a long way to go, we have a lot of games to play and I also want to do my evaluations on the team and the players, ”added Conte.
“Now I am very focused on the present because the present is very important to me. I have to do a lot of evaluations on the whole team and then we will see what happens.”
Conte will also be without Romero’s international teammate Giovani Lo Celso, also injured while playing for Argentina last week, and youngster Dane Scarlett in Slovenia, but will otherwise travel with a full squad on Wednesday afternoon, scoring a departure from Nuno Espirito Santo’s approach for the competition. .
Nuno left his entire first XI at home for the visit to Vitesse Arnhem last month, frustrating team members, but Conte confirmed he would shuffle his pack.
“All available players will come with us and they have to be ready to play,” Conte said. “I have to rotate because there are players who are a bit tired because they have played a lot of games with the national team and also we have worked a lot in the last two weeks.
“There are other players who need playing time. For us this competition is important. We want to take this game seriously and we want to take the next step. Of course, I will rotate because personally I need to know the players a lot better because there are players that I have to see during a match. “
The Europa Conference League offers a potential route to silverware for Spurs this season, and Conte says winning a trophy has to be the goal.
“We want to build something big and try to win trophies together, that has to be our goal,” he said.
“In England it’s not easy because the other teams are very, very strong but I know we can improve a lot. If you ask me how long it takes before this happens, it’s very hard to tell you, in our hearts and minds this must be our inspiration and we must try to do it for the best of the club.
“I have found a group of players who want to work and improve and this is a good place for me. I can come to any club and I want to bring my ideas but if you don’t have the capacity players it is. Impossible. I saw positive things at Tottenham and felt good vibes. It’s a good starting point. “