Brighton and Hove Albion defender Tariq Lamptey will likely be unfit for the start of the 2021-22 Premier League season, club boss Graham Potter has hinted.
The Ghana target has been out of action since suffering a hamstring injury in December last year and was forced to go under the knife.
He did return to training as pre-season began earlier this month but has been forced back into the treatment room by a relapse.
“It’s a little bit slower than we would like and probably he would like but with the nature of his surgery and the injury, we need to make sure that he’s right rather than putting any timescale on it,” Potter told the Athletic.
“He’s making progress but not as fast as we and he would like.
“It’s important that we just stay patient and do the right things for him, make sure we finish off this last stage of his rehab in a good way, because it’s not necessarily about being available for the first game, it’s about being available for as many games as he can in the season.”
Lamptey’s injury troubles restricted him to just 11 Premier League outings last season.
His latest setback meant he missed Saturday’s 0-0 pre-season friendly draw with Rangers at Ibrox Stadium.
Asked about the possibility of Lamptey’s involvement in their next friendlies at Luton Town on Saturday and at home to Getafe on August 7, Potter responded: “At this stage, I would say it’s unlikely but you never know. We’ve got a plan but we’ll see how he responds.”
Brighton are set to open their upcoming league season with an away clash with Burnley on August 14.
Born to Ghanaian parents in the UK, Lamptey is currently being courted by the Ghana Football Association to switch international allegiance from England to Ghana.
He currently plays for the Three Lions at U21 level.
The 20-year-old is one of about four England- born players on the wishlist of the four-time African champions, the others being Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, Arsenal striker Edward Nketiah and Watford attacker Kwadwo Baah.
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