Late Thursday morning ET, Tottenham Hotspur confirmed the news that was first rumored last month. An injury will force a lineup mainstay to miss at least a month of action, news that brought with it some painful memories of Tottenham's woeful spring that ultimately landed them out of Champions League.
Spurs announced via the team's official website on Thursday that midfielder Scott Parker has undergone successful surgery to repair his injured right Achilles. According to the short statement released by the club, Parker will return to training following next month's international break. A story posted on the Telegraph website offered a bit more information on how much time Parker is expected to miss. That story claims that Parker is unlikely to play for at least six weeks, meaning that the earliest he could return would be when Spurs are away to Reading on September 16. Depending on how Tottenham are playing at that time and also Parker's fitness, however, manager Andre Villas-Boas may choose to rest the 31-year old midfielder until at least September 29, when Spurs are away to Manchester United.
Tottenham acquired Parker last August in a move that many analysts called the steal of deadline day. The squad, which had suffered two crushing defeats against United and Manchester City to open up the 2011-12 campaign, immediate improved with Parker in it, and he was recognized as being a significant reason for Spurs climbing back up toward the top of the Premier League table last fall. He was named the Barclays Player of the Month for November 2011, and he was also recognized as the 2011 England Player of the Year. Parker was also captain for the England National Team earlier in the year.
It is likely that Sandro, the Brazilian midfielder who has played well during the 2012 London Olympics, will fill in for Parker starting next weekend. Sandro replaced an injured Parker in the Spurs lineup last spring during the final few weeks of the Premier League season, and he was one of Tottenham's better players in those matches. While Spurs will certainly miss Parker, his injury does give Sandro an opportunity to impress both Villas-Boas and also any other onlookers.
Thursday's announcement is absolutely a "could have been worse" scenario, but it is also a cause for at least a bit of concern. Tottenham did well to bounce back from a slow start last September, but such a rally followed just two poor performances. Spurs could, in theory, be without Parker for up to six league matches to start things out this year. Sandro may have to play some of his best Premier League football for a month or so if he is to adequately fill the void caused by Parker's absence.