Dembele to have therapy instead of operation, confirms Villas-Boas

The boss believes his squad have enough quality to cope without the Belgian, while Tom Huddlestone insists they must "be better and get the win" when they face Maribor on Thursday
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that Mousa Dembele's hip injury will be treated with "manual therapy" and not through surgery.

The Belgian has missed their last five outings, including defeats to Chelsea and Wigan in the Premier League and the 1-1 draw away at Maribor in the Europa League, after suffering a recurrence of the problem while on international duty.

The Spurs boss revealed that the midfielder will not have an operation as there is too great a risk it may not be successful, and will instead undergo therapy, while adding that he is likely to remain sidelined for two more weeks.

"We could either give him surgery immediately, but there is no certainty it will cure the problem," he told reporters. "Or he could rest, have manual therapy, train in the swimming pool.

"That allows the player the possibility of return within 10-15 days, so we are taking that option at the moment, without having the surgery."

The news means the 25-year-old will miss the north Londoners' return fixture against Maribor, as well as important upcoming league clashes with Manchester City and Arsenal, and possibly the trip to Lazio.

However, the Portuguese is confident that his side can cope without the playmaker, insisting his squad is full of quality, while highlighting the importance of focus.

"We had good games without Moussa," the 35-year-old continued.

"Against Chelsea we lost Gareth Bale and Moussa and we gave them a run for their money even though they were on an amazing run.

"We had extremely good games against Southampton and Norwich. Good players are missed but this squad is full of good players.

"I don't think it has affected the tempo and dynamic - it's more important to have players fully concentrated and motivated."

Talking specifically about Thursday's visit of Maribor the former Porto manager stressed the importance of good home form in Europe, which he believes the fans can help with, but indicated Jake Livermore and Sandro will be unavailable.

"We expect a good game," he added." They had a very competitive game against Lazio. They have a winning mentality.

"We have two home games [in the ‪Europa League‬], we have to do our job and win. We hope to put in a good performance.

"Positive emotion from the stands is welcomed and negative emotion can have a negative effect. We have had great support.

"Jake returned to training today, [but there is] still a bit of discomfort there. Sandro is out but hopeful for the weekend. [The] rest is as we were."

One man who will be fit for the match with the Slovenian side is Tom Huddlestone, who made his 300th career appearance in the loss to the Latics on Saturday.

The 25-year-old acknowledged that the team need to improve after a tough test away from home, while he was happy to have reached the milestone albeit under underwhelming circumstances.

"We need to be better and get the win," he said. "European nights at the Lane are always great.

"First and foremost we need the win, they played well at their place, we knew what to expect, [and were] unlucky not to get more.

"[Getting the 300th cap was] very pleasing, [but I was] disappointed in the result. [It's] great to get that many [while] relatively young"