Tottenham Hotspur’s Heung-Min Son
Tottenham Hotspur’s Heung-Min Son|Associated Press | Adam Davy

Heung-Min Son injury affects Champions League race in England

Sean Miller

Sean Miller

When all seemed to be going in the right direction for Tottenham, and just before the club's UEFA Champions League round-of-16 clash with RB Leipzig, the Spurs will now be even shorter up front for what might be the rest of the season.

Heung-Min Son fractured his arm Sunday in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa, which took the Spurs up to fifth place in the Premier League table. He will be a long-term absence, joining striker Harry Kane on the sidelines.

"Heung-Min Son is to undergo surgery this week after sustaining a fracture to his right arm," read a statement that was posted on Tottenham's website. "The South Korea international suffered the injury during our win against Aston Villa on Sunday. Following surgery, our medical staff shall be reviewing management options for Son’s rehabilitation with the player expected to be sidelined for a number of weeks."

But Tottenham Manager Jose Mourinho was less optimistic about the injury.

Much less optimistic.

"I'm not going to count on him again this season," Mourinho said Tuesday. "If he plays two or three games then it is because he [Tottenham's press officer] is very optimistic, and I hope he is right. But, in my mind, I am not thinking about that.

We are going to miss him. The club wrote a nice statement. If I was the one to write the statement, I would write different.

"The situation couldn't be worse. That is obvious. There is nothing we can do. We are going to play with the players we have available. I was worried about not having attacking options on the bench, now I don't have attacking options on the pitch.

"My thoughts are that Troy Parrott is not ready and Ryan Sessegnon is not a striker. No strikers, no market. Nothing. The only help we can have is our crowd, the Tottenham supporters. That is the only thing I ask because to the players I cannot ask more than what they are giving."

With both Son and Kane out of action for the two-legged tie with Leipzig, and missing some key Premier League contests, which will start this Saturday (7:30 a.m. NBCSN and with their battle for fourth with Chelsea, the race for a Champions League spot next season may have been thrown into disarray.

Add in Manchester City's two-year ban from UEFA action, and fifth place might be good enough to ensure Champions League play in 2020-21.

Right now, it may be Manchester United that is best placed to take advantage of all the chaos, with Sheffield United and Wolverhampton also raring to go after a top five spot. Sheffield United is the lone team not in Europe presently in the trailing pack (although Everton could also make a run at the top five), and will not have the extra midweek commitments.

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