Tottenham Hotspur’s squad was infiltrated by a stomach bug ahead of Sunday’s Premier League home game against Burnley.
Spurs manager Antonio Conte revealed in a pre-match interview that Dejan Kulusevski was one of four players who had reported symptoms including sickness on Saturday.
Kulusevski, who had played 72 minutes on Thursday when Spurs beat Arsenal 3-0, was deemed fit enough to be named as a substitute against Burnley.
His place in the starting XI was handed to Lucas Moura.
Speaking to BT Sport around an hour before kick-off, Conte said: “[We had] only yesterday to prepare for the game but this is the schedule and we have to play.
“Honestly, there was a problem because yesterday Kulusevski didn’t do the training session. He was sick with a stomach problem.
“He was not the only player to have this, maybe a virus came around into the team.
“Yesterday four players but it is ok. Kulusevski didn’t have the training session, but we have Lucas Moura.”
Dejan Kulusevski pictured in action for Tottenham Hotspur during their 3-0 win over Arsenal on Thursday
IMAGO/PA Images/Mark Pain
News of a pre-match illness in the squad will have evoked painful memories for Tottenham fans.
In 2006, Spurs went into the final game of the season needing to beat West Ham to finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Hours before that game, Tottenham requested a postponement after a significant number of players reported having food poisoning, apparently as a consequence of a dodgy lasagna.
But the Premier League refused to delay the game and Spurs went on to lose 2-1 at West Ham, allowing Arsenal to pinch fourth place.