Erik Lamela on Tottenham injury trouble: Balancing training, matches drives me 'crazy'
Tottenham's Erik Lamela has said he is having to manage his workload and prioritise matches over training to ensure he remains injury-free, and admits the balancing act sometimes drives him "crazy."
The Argentinian midfielder was sidelined for more than a year between October 2016 and November 2017, undergoing surgery on both of his hips during that period.
He has now scored five goals in seven matches, including Saturday's winner at West Ham. But that was Lamela's first Premier League start of the season and, while he is feeling fit, he admits he cannot operate at full throttle all of the time.
"Will I be able to play in all of our upcoming matches? I don't know," he said. "This is for the manager and staff [to decide] -- they know how to manage me after a lot of time together.
"Sometimes I cannot go 80 per cent, even in training. I'm crazy sometimes but it's like this. I play football like this and now I'm taking care about this.
"I'm trying to manage myself, especially when we have a long week -- to train hard of course but to arrive good to the game and take care about everything. Normally we train really hard here. It's just because I want to play the games, it's more important than training.
"This is what we're doing now and I think the manager and the staff, they take care about me, and the rest of the team. They care about all the players.
"I'm feeling good; my hips are feeling better. When you're injured it's really hard, and when you come back too. But now I'm happy with my feeling on the pitch and my place in the team."
Lamela's Tottenham teammate Mousa Dembele has been impressed with the Argentine's start to the campaign.
"Everyone knows he has a strong mentality," Dembele said. "That's why I think he's now improved a lot. You can see he's so important for us and we always knew this. I'm happy he's showing the world what he's capable of."
Tottenham have made their best ever start to a Premier League campaign but are yet to pick up a point in their Champions League group, having lost both of their opening fixtures against Inter Milan and Barcelona.
There is now no margin for error as they prepare to visit PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.
"We know we have to win to keep in the competition,"Lamela said. "If not, every time it's more difficult to go through.
"Unfortunately we started with a loss in the Champions League in Milan. This was very bad for the start, and the start is always so important.
"After that we lost against Barcelona -- they have a very good team -- and now we will try to win because it's another opportunity and we will not have too many chances. We know we have to win on Wednesday."