Conte is expected to take training on Monday after flying back to London following an extended rehabilitation period having undergone emergency gallbladder surgery. But the manager returns to growing uncertainty at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Spurs suffered a major setback to their top-four hopes after losing in the Premier League at Wolves on Saturday and their exit from the FA Cup last week.
Tottenham trail 1-0 from last month’s first leg of the last-16 tie with Milan and will be under huge pressure to turn it around in the second leg because an early European exit would be another financial blow.
There is also uncertainty around Conte’s long-term future at Tottenham as his deal expires this summer. Tottenham have a 12-month extension clause but would only realistically active it if Conte wants to stay. There must be doubts as he has said numerous times he wants to be at a club challenging for major honours and has not hidden his desire to return to Italy.
Conte’s assistant, Cristian Stellini, has been in charge since that first leg at the San Siro as Conte admitted he “underestimated” the severity of the surgery and that he returned too soon.
Now, after an extended period of convalescence, Conte will be back on the touchline to oversee their most important few weeks of the season.
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Speaking after the defeat at Molineux on Saturday, Stellini told SPURSPLAY: "My thoughts are that we expected a reaction [after losing to Sheffield United in the FA Cup in midweek]. We expected to react from the start of this game and the first half was completely under control.
"We played very well in the first half, had three good chances to score and to kill the game, but we were not ready to do it. And after that, in the second half, we struggled a bit.
"We needed time to adapt to some changes they made, then we lost some duels. Their striker [Raul Jimenez] won some duels and that created a good pace for them. We defended well, they created two chances and one was a goal. This is the story of the game."