‘I underestimated the procedure’: Antonio Conte won’t return to Tottenham until fully fit

“My body has suffered my impatience and now I am forced to stop until my entire recovery. Who knows me understands what a burden this is for me, but it is necessary. Come on you Spurs.”

Conte experienced “severe abdominal pain” that was later diagnosed as cholecystitis following their 3-0 win at Preston in the FA Cup last month and subsequently underwent surgery to remove his gallbladder days later.

It meant the Italian missed Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Manchester City on February 5 but, two weeks after his operation, he returned to work.

Assistant Cristian Stellini had referenced the need for Conte to “take it easy” and the former Chelsea manager conceded he was not 100 per cent ahead of the midweek fixture in Milan.

Conte had been reserved by his own high-octane standards at Leicester on his return to the touchline but was more active at San Siro and regularly bellowed out instructions to his team.

The head coach insisted after the Champions League last-16 tie he would return to full fitness soon but assistant Stellini will now take on first-team duties.

A club statement read: “Following a routine post-operation check in Italy yesterday (Wednesday), Antonio Conte will remain at his family home to further and fully recover from his recent gallbladder surgery,” a club statement read.

My body has suffered my impatience and now I am forced to stop until my entire recovery

“Health is the most important consideration and everyone at the club wishes him well. Cristian Stellini will assume first-team responsibility.”


Stellini, who has won two matches in charge of fifth-placed Spurs this season, will lead the team for Sunday’s London derby with West Ham.

Tottenham are in the middle of a busy period and set to play Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup fixtures during the next month.

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