Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo may be forced to throw Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero and Davinson Sanchez straight into the matchday squad to face Chelsea on Sunday – even though they only arrive back in the UK on Saturday.
The Argentine duo and Colombian Sanchez will not have trained with their Spurs team-mates for more than three weeks.
Sky Sports News has been told Nuno is considering altering Tottenham’s training schedule – moving the final pre-match session to late on Saturday – so that the trio can be involved in at least some of the tactical preparation.
Lo Celso and Romero travelled to join up with their country without the permission of their club, and will be disciplined when they return.
They have spent the last 10 days in Croatia, as has Sanchez, training on their own to avoid the need to self-isolate in a Government-issued hotel back in England.
But the mini-injury crisis at Spurs means Nuno may have to include all three in his plans for the London derby – much sooner than he would have liked.
The game could come too soon for Heung-min Son and Steven Bergwijn, but there are more serious problems in defence.
Eric Dier is a serious doubt after sustaining an injury in the defeat at Selhurst Park last weekend, and Japhet Tanganga is suspended for the Chelsea game, after his red card against Palace.
That increases the likelihood of centre backs Sanchez and Romero being drafted straight back into the Spurs starting XI for Sunday.
Aston Villa’s Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia are also expected to fly back to England on Saturday.
They too have been training in Croatia, but travelled to be part of the Argentina squad last month with the full permission of the club and Dean Smith.