Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho expects striker Harry Kane to face a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
The England captain suffered the blow in the defeat at Southampton on New Year’s Day, when he had to be substituted in the second half.
Final results on the seriousness of the injury have yet to reach Mourinho, but he cannot see a scenario where it would be positive.
“Maybe later today we have news, but if you ask me my feeling, good news or bad news, I am more on bad news than good news,” the Portuguese said on Friday.
“Kane leaving a match the way he did it, he didn’t think twice, it took him two seconds to realise the severity of his situation.”
Record signing Tanguy Ndombele also came off against Southampton, with a hip injury his problem.
Like Kane, Ndombele will miss the FA Cup third-round match at Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Midfielder Eric Dier could return after recovering from a virus, while forward Son Heung-min has completed a suspension.
Young forward Troy Parrott could feature for Spurs on Sunday, meanwhile, with Mourinho insisting that while he won’t be sending the 17-year-old out on loan, he’s not ready to replace Kane just yet.
He said: “I think it’s too soon. I think one thing is potential and another thing is conditions to express potential and I think he needs time. Having minutes, being involved is one thing. Another thing is what you call the direct replacement. To be that he needs to work.
“The next step for him is to sign a new contract at the club long-term and then it is for everyone to decide what is the best for his development. In this club we care about our players. It is also to find the best pathway to develop.
“He’s 17 years old. I don’t think at the age of 17 it’s good for you to go on loan to a Championship club or to go abroad to another country. My feeling is it’s one thing when you are 20 if you need that step, another thing is when you are 17. When you are 17 you are a baby.
“Seventeen you just have to be in your father club where you feel at home, where you are at home, where you train and develop with the first team.”