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‘Tough’ for Kane to return before the end of the season – Pochettino

Tottenham will discover next week whether Harry Kane’s latest ankle injury will rule him out for the rest of the season.

Kane suffered significant lateral ligament damage to his left ankle during Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final win over Manchester City – his second such injury this year – and will see a specialist next week after an initial scan on Thursday.

Boss Mauricio Pochettino admits it is going to be “difficult” for the England captain to return this season, with Spurs hoping to reach their first Champions League semi-final and book another top-four Premier League finish.

Pochettino says they will do everything they can to make it happen.

“We’ll see because it is still five weeks,” Pochettino said. “We need to assess and it will be difficult for sure, it is going to be tough.

“It looks similar (to his last injury) but next week we will have a proper answer. He needs to see the specialist next week and then we will see how his rehab goes.

“Of course, him and us will try to do everything to recover him as soon as possible.

“It’s only five weeks of competition until the end. We’ll see what happens in the Champions League but it’s only five weeks we have to recover.”

This is the fifth ankle injury since September 2016 for Kane, who has come back ahead of schedule on a number of occasions, including this year when he returned two weeks before expected.

But Pochettino says the two injuries are distinct.

“No, it’s nothing to do with it because he started to play in February,” said Pochettino regarding the previous issue.

“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 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 and the UEFA Nations League semi-final in early June for a return to fitness.

Pochettino would have no gripes about allowing Kane to head off to Portugal even if he had not returned for Spurs.

England v Czech Republic – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group A – Wembley Stadium

Kane could yet figure for England in the UEFA Nations League in June. (Nick Potts/PA)

The Argentinian added: “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.

“I think the first interest now is to try and provide Harry 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.”

Kane was not the only casualty on Tuesday night as Dele Alli suffered a broken hand.

The England international is unlikely to face Huddersfield on Saturday but is expected to be fit for the Champions League quarter-final second leg at Manchester City on Wednesday.

Pochettino said: “We need to asses him this afternoon and tomorrow and take the decision.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City – UEFA Champions League – Quarter Final – First Leg – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Dele Alli, right, broke his hand in two places in the Champions League tie with Manchester City. (Adam Davy/PA)

“I’m not too optimistic. He broke his hand in two parts. It is so painful. Yesterday he saw a specialist and today we will see how he will deal with the situation.

“I’m not optimistic about tomorrow. I am more optimistic he will be available for Man City in the second leg. We’ll see and we’ll take a decision that is best for everyone.”

Eric Dier (hip), Erik Lamela and Serge Aurier (both hamstring) are still out.