Academy keeper on the mend

Tottenham Hotspur academy goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie is closing in on a return to training as he continues to recover from a ruptured spleen.

The 16-year-old suffered the potentially fatal injury while playing in France for Belgium’s Under-17 side earlier this month.

However, after a spell in hospital, the teenager is on the mend.

“He’s in the wound-healing phase,” De Bie’s father told La Derniere Heure. “He feels very good, but we’ll have to wait for the tests on 15 March to be certain that everything is OK inside. He’ll then be able to start training little-by-little with Tottenham.”

De Bie, who played for Anderlecht and Mechelen’s youth teams before being snapped up by Spurs, was initially in a critical condition following the freak incident during the game in the Brittany town of St Brieuc.

“It takes a huge coincidence of circumstances for it to happen, notably that the floating ribs are lifted and the blow is received in an area of four centimetres squared,” his father said. “So Jonathan was really unlucky.”

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