Tottenham Hotspur fans rally round Erik Lamela after dog death report

Tottenham's Erik Lamela scores their second goal

Tottenham fans rally round winger.

Erik Lamela has been missing from the Tottenham first team since October, but there is more to his absence than meets the eye.

The winger's return date has been constantly pushed back, and he has been recovering from his hip problem in Rome.

While the following was known to some Spurs fans a month ago, The Telegraph put into the public domain last night that Lamela has taken the recent death of his dog particularly hard.

Tottenham's Erik Lamela scores their second goalTottenham's Erik Lamela scores their second goal

Lamela was already dealing with news that his brother had been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, and has evidently needed extended leave of absence to recuperate mentally as well as physically.

While on one hand you can imagine a no nonsense teammate like former Manchester United captain Roy Keane turning to Lamela and telling him to 'man up', it should be noted that the Argentine is a young man playing in a foreign country, and mental wellbeing is taken more seriously now that it was 20 years ago.

Tottenham's Erik Lamela in actionTottenham's Erik Lamela in action

While rival supporters have been taking a few cheap digs on social media, Tottenham fans have been rallying around the winger, sending him messages of encouragement and sympathy.

While not everybody had the same sympathy towards the international star, Lamela appeared to notice the messages, and 'liked' one message of support from his verified Twitter account.

It read: "Use everything that's happening to you as fuel to come back stronger and do what you do best."

There is a chance Lamela returns from injury in time for Tottenham's Europa League campaign getting started in February, and his return to action will be a timely boost, in time for a crucial stretch of the season.

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