In a press conference on Thursday, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino seemed to hint that star striker Harry Kane could be in contention for next weekend’s match against Chelsea, marking a far quicker recovery from injury than many expected.
Although on the face of things, the Argentine’s announcement seems like welcome news, in reality, Spurs should exercise extreme caution when easing Kane back into action.
Given the added importance of the World Cup in the summer, England’s most prolific striker must be protected at all costs. If rushed back too soon, a possible re-inflammation of his ankle injury is possible. Considering Kane has injured this particular ankle several times in the past, a potential re-injury is not out of the question.
Tottenham only have to look as far as Manchester United to see an example of a striker’s rushed return from injury turned wrong.
When Zlatan Ibrahimovic painfully twisted his right knee in last year’s Europa League quarterfinals, the Swedish striker faced an extended spell on the sidelines. Few expected him to play for the Red Devils ever again, let alone during the following season.
Yet, ever the maverick, Ibra made a seemingly miraculous recovery and was welcomed back into action in early winter. But shortly thereafter, injuries flared up again and ended Zlatan’s Old Trafford career in despondent fashion.
Although Kane’s injury is largely incomparable to Ibrahimovic’s, the central point remains: force a player with ligament damage back into the first team fray too soon, and fear the consequences.
If Tottenham are to solidify their Champions League spot next season, they will need a fully fit Harry Kane for the closing weeks of the season; there is no use pushing him back for the Chelsea clash and then losing him for the rest of the year.
And Kane is simply vital for the Three Lions’ World Cup hopes. The Spurs man is without a doubt England’s best player, and Gareth Southgate will need him firing on all cylinders if his side seek to avoid international embarrassment.
Both Spurs and England supporters should preach caution with regards to Kane- their top-four and World Cup hopes could depend on his prudent return to health.