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Conte: Sense of responsibility made me underestimate surgery

Antonio Conte admitted that he underestimated the length of time he would need to recover from surgery on his second return to Tottenham - and welcomes the pressure of facing Milan on Wednesday.

Conte was initially ruled out for just a week after surgery to remove his gallbladder, but a return to Hotspur Way was cut short another seven days later when doctors demanded he stay in Italy and undergo a full recovery.

In his absence, Cristian Stellini has taken charge of Spurs' last four games with mixed results, including two Premier League wins but also an FA Cup exit at the hands of Championship side Sheffield United.

Conte was back taking training again on Monday ahead of Wednesday's must-win Champions League last-16 second leg against AC Milan, Conte said he had not appreciated how long his body would take to recover from the surgery, but that he was already embracing the pressure of facing the Italian champions.

"For sure, I under-evaluated the recovery after surgery," he said. "I think that for my sense of responsibility I wanted to come back early. Maybe I over-evaluated my body and myself.

"Now I'm well and I've recovered energy and I have to recover weight but for the rest my feeling is good. I will try to transfer my energy to my players. It's important for me to work with my players and the staff and prepare for the games.

"From afar I tried to stay very close with my players using video. To be present is totally different and for this reason I have to say thanks to my whole staff. They did a really good job and the players to stay for three weeks without the manager wasn't easy, but now I'm back and I'm really happy

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