Friday 23 August 2019

Pochettino expresses cautious optimism over Harry Kane recovery

The England captain was ruled out for two months at the start of January.

Mauricio Pochettino is encouraged by the progress Harry Kane is making (Nigel French/PA)
Mauricio Pochettino is encouraged by the progress Harry Kane is making (Nigel French/PA)

By Jonathan Veal, Press Association Sport

Tottenham are “happy” with Harry Kane’s recovery from an ankle injury, but boss Mauricio Pochettino does not know whether it is ahead of schedule.

The England captain was ruled out until early March after sustaining ligament damage in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on January 13 – the third season in a row he has suffered such a problem.

But Kane, who is known to return from injuries before anticipated, has raised hopes after posting a video of himself on social media doing significant exercises on the joint.

Whether that means he will return before March remains to be seen and Pochettino is not putting a timescale on it.

He said: “I cannot tell you if he is ahead of schedule or not. We assess him day-by-day.

“He is showing on his social media that he looks strong and very fit and very well, running and doing exercises.

“You know him very well, he is very strong and is a guy that puts 200 per cent in to be back as soon as possible.

“He’s determined to try and recover as soon as possible and be available as soon as possible. We will see, we need to assess day-by-day, week-by-week but we are happy with how he is recovering.

Harry Kane is treated for his injury on the pitch at Wembley (Mike Egerton/PA)

“You know him, Harry would want to play tomorrow. We will see, because at the end we had experience with him, the most important thing is that he’s strong,  the physical condition is so important and to keep fit and try to arrive at the moment he feels he is going to be strong and going to feel again the possibility to compete.

“For me now, (my job) is not to put some time (schedule) on him to be involved with the team because the most important thing now is to be focused on trying to recover as soon as possible and feel OK.”

Kane is joined on the sidelines by another high-profile injury victim Dele Alli and they, along with Ben Davies, will miss Saturday’s visit of Newcastle.

Spurs, who will assess Son Heung-min after his midweek exertions on his first game back from international duty, will climb into second place and four points behind leaders Liverpool, albeit temporarily, if they win the lunchtime kick-off.

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Pochettino, whose side failed to add to their squad for the second transfer window running, is daring to dream of overhauling Liverpool and Manchester City, though applied his usual cautionary note.

He said: “We cannot put the excuse that we are not a real contender but we are going to try, we are going to dream because we are close, we are there in a very good position and we are going to try and fight until the end to be as high as we can.

“Reality – if you see the table of course we are there. A lot can happen and there are a lot of games to play.

“We have broken the record with wins away from home, our points record (at this stage) is the best in the Premier League, we are doing well. But the dream is the dream, my dream is to win the Premier League or Champions League, to win the FA Cup or the Carabao Cup.”

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