LONDON: Mauricio Pochettino says it will be “difficult” for Harry Kane to play for Tottenham again this season after the forward suffered an ankle injury during their Champions League win over Manchester City.
The England captain, who suffered a “significant lateral ligament” injury in the 1-0 first-leg victory on Tuesday, is susceptible to ankle damage — this is his fifth ankle injury since 2016 and the second to his left joint this year.
“He was so upset after the game, it was a difficult moment for him,” Tottenham boss Pochettino said ahead of his side’s home match against already relegated Huddersfield on Saturday.
“We feel so disappointed and it was difficult to accept the situation,” he added.
“He is now much better. He had the scan yesterday and he needs to see the specialist next week. He is in a good place because he is a positive guy.”
When asked if he believes Kane could return this season, Pochettino said: “We’ll see. There is five weeks, it is going to be difficult.
“Next week we are going to see with the specialist. We are going to do everything to recover him as soon as possible.”
Kane has come back ahead of schedule on a number of occasions after his ankle problems, including this year, when he returned two weeks early.
There have been suggestions that Kane has rushed back previously when it would have been better to let the injury heal for longer but Pochettino said his problems were mostly down to bad luck.
– Recurring issues –
“Of course, if you come back and it happens again in the first game after injury, we can talk about whether we weren’t right to force him to play,” he said.
“He played a lot of games and the reason is not that. The reason is there was an action, an accident and it happened again.
“There is a lot of coincidence but we are talking about an accident. Nothing to do with his rehab of the past.”
Kane is thought to have targeted a possible Champions League final on June 1 or England’s Nations League semi-final against Holland on June 6 for his return to action.
And Pochettino would have no problem with allowing Kane to head off to the Nations League in Portugal even if he had not returned for Tottenham.
“You know me very well, after six years working in England that always my will is to help the national team. I am never going to tell a player not to go to the national team,” he said.
“I think the first interest now is to try and provide Harry with the best condition and tools to recover as soon as possible and hope he can help us at the end of the season, and help England win the title they are going to fight for in the summer.”
Spurs midfielder Dele Alli also fractured his left hand during Tuesday’s match.
Pochettino is hopeful Alli will be fit for the second leg of the Chamipons League match but admits the England international is unlikely to face Huddersfield.