Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has claimed that doctors blocked his return to the sidelines in recent weeks. The 53-year-old Italian underwent gallbladder surgery at the start of February. He managed to return to action with Spurs during a 4-1 loss to Leicester City on February 11th. However, Conte was advised to return home to rest after the defeat to AC Milan three days later.

The coach claimed on Tuesday that he wanted to be on the pitch for a matchup with Sheffield United on March 1st. Instead, the team medical staff advised Conte to stay away for further rest. Nevertheless, he has been cleared by doctors to return to the dugout ahead of the second leg Champions League fixture against Milan on Wednesday.

Conte wanted to return to Tottenham sooner

“I wanted to come back after the game against Sheffield United but the doctor stopped me and said: ‘Now, you have to listen to us and wait two more days. Then on Sunday you come back to London for the game against Milan,” Conte told reporters on Tuesday.

“For me, honestly, I wanted to come back early, but in this case I should respect the doctor and also Tottenham’s doctors because they were really worried after the game against Milan, the first leg.”

“For this reason I came back on Sunday. Now I repeat I am well. And yesterday I tried during the training session … I have a lot of energy and I want to transfer my energy to my players for this important game.”

Son says Conte arrival will club boost

With Conte out, assistant coach Cristian Stellini temporarily led the senior squad. Stellini picked up victories over Manchester City, West Ham, and Chelsea in Premier League play, before losing to Wolves at the weekend.

Star forward Son Heung-min also claimed that Conte’s return will be a boost to the team. “I am glad the manager is sitting next to me,” Son said in the press conference. “When he was not here the staff did a good job, but yesterday we could feel his energy and passion again. When he is on the touchline that will give us a boost and amazing energy.”

Conte and Spurs will have to turn around a 1-0 deficit against Milan to advance in the Champions League. The upcoming match is at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where the club boasts a 71% win rate during the current campaign.