CRISTIAN ROMERO is close to returning from injury at Tottenham.
The Argentina defender, 23, has been out since November with a hamstring problem.
But Spurs boss Antonio Conte said: “He’s very close, very close to coming back, and we're talking about another important player for us.
“We lost him for almost two months and I think we faced this situation in the best possible way because Cristian for sure is an important player for us.
“Despite this, the players who played showed to be good and they improved. For example, Davinson Sanchez is improving a lot."
Conte was also asked if he had concerns about Romero being named in the Argentina squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers away to Chile and home to Colombia.
He said: “Our first target now is to try to bring him in a good physical condition to be fit for us. I hope to have him very soon because we need him."
Conte also revealed Spurs and South Korea striker Son Heung-min is unlikely to return to action until after this month's international break.
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Son picked up an injury in last week’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg defeat at Chelsea.
Conte, whose side will be hoping to overturn a 2-0 deficit in tomorrow’s second leg, added: “It was a muscular problem and it was strange because he came off during the game with no problem.
“Then the day after he felt a bit of pain and he was injured. It’s a pity because you know very well the importance of this player for us.”
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