Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris stepped up his recovery from a knee injury by playing in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Thursday.
The World Cup-winning goalkeeper has not featured for Spurs since a 1-0 win over Manchester City on February 5 and therefore been absent during a run where the club exited the FA Cup and Champions League.
It has contributed towards the uncertainty over Antonio Conte’s future, but in rare welcome news for the north London outfit, Frenchman Lloris was able to play against an Ipswich XI at Hotspur Way on Thursday, the PA news agency understands.
Lloris was expected to be sidelined for between six to eight weeks after he sustained a knee issue in the final minutes of an impressive victory over City last month.
The former France international missed nine matches in total and even though back-up stopper Fraser Forster deputised to good effect to keep Tottenham’s top-four tilt on track, their inconsistent form continued with losses at Sheffield United and AC Milan consigning the club to another trophyless season.
It has put the spotlight on Conte’s future, which has been a topic of debate throughout the season due to the original terms he signed in 2021 expiring this summer.
An explosive rant following last Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Southampton saw the 53-year-old question the culture of a club that has “never won something” and aim criticism at his own “selfish players” after they let a two-goal lead slip.
Tottenham resume their Premier League campaign with a trip to Everton on April 3 and Conte is not expected to be in charge.
While Lloris could return to action at Goodison Park, Spurs will be without Ben Davies for the foreseeable future.
Davies, who pulled out of national team duty with Wales this week, is set to be out for six weeks with a hamstring injury.