Tottenham have confirmed Antonio Conte will be taking a short break to focus on his recovery after undergoing a medical procedure.
Tottenham have confirmed Antonio Conte will be temporarily excused from his role as head coach after undergoing an operation to remove his gallbladder. The Spurs boss, who is expected to leave the north London club at the end of the season when his contract expires, recently became unwell after complaining of severe adnominal pain – prompting doctors to investigate and later take action.
Following the procedure, Conte has now been granted a period of leave by Daniel Levy and the Tottenham hierarchy, who have given the Italian their blessing to prioritise his health following the surprise scare.
A club statement from Tottenham published on Wednesday morning read: “Antonio Conte recently became unwell with severe abdominal pain.
“Following a diagnosis of cholecystitis, he will be undergoing surgery to remove his gallbladder today and will return following a period of recuperation. Everyone at the Club wishes him well.”
The former Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan tactician left talisman Harry Kane on the bench for the encounter as Son Heung-min and new signing Arnaut Danjuma found the back of the net in Lancashire.
This season has been far from straightforward for Tottenham, who started the campaign so well before tailing off following a pre-World Cup wobble that has threatened to derail their top-four hopes.
Despite another turgid run of form following the return of club football, Conte’s side have shown brief signs of improvement in recent weeks.
While they were beaten by both Manchester City and Arsenal respectively, Spurs did pick up wins over Crystal Palace, Portsmouth (FA Cup) and Fulham in January without conceding a goal in those three victories.
The deadline day capture of Sporting wing-back Pedro Porro has also increased spirits around Tottenham following a frustrating winter transfer window.
Spurs are currently fifth in the Premier League table and three points behind Manchester United in fourth but Erik ten Hag’s side have a game in hand.
Tottenham will hope to have Conte back for their crunch Champions League last 16 first-leg clash with AC Milan on February 14, when they will seek to wipe the slate clean following domestic turbulence.
Manchester City visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday as Spurs seek to beat the champions at home in the Premier League for the fourth season running.
It’s been a tough season for Conte on a personal level – in addition to Tottenham’s inconsistent form and struggles on the field.
The 53-year-old was rocked by the devastating loss of his fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone in October following a battle with leukaemia.
Conte also tragically lost close friend Gianluca Vialli to pancreatic cancer earlier this month in another blow that rocked the footballing world.
Spurs assistant boss Cristian Stellini and coach Ryan Mason are expected to take charge of first team matters this weekend and potentially, beyond.