Mauricio to make decision on Harry Kane return

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Harry Kane
Harry Kane

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino will be the one who has the final say on whether Harry Kane will play at Burnley.

The England captain is back in training following an ankle injury which has kept him out of his club’s last seven games and could return to the side for Saturday lunchtime’s Premier League clash at Turf Moor.

It will complete a rapid recovery by Kane, who was initially expected to be out until the middle of March, and he believes he is ready to start.

But Pochettino will not allow his judgement to be swayed by Kane’s opinion.

“I don’t care if he wants to play or not,” he said. “I’ll decide with my coaching staff and the doctor and sports science staff.

“Every player that came from an injury or illness, it’s about the structure, when he’s possible to play or not.

“If you ask him 10 days ago he was ready to play! But the last word is always myself. I take the risk, the decision for the team.”

Considering he was originally expected to be out for another few weeks, the prospect of having the England captain back for heavyweight clashes against Chelsea, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund in the next fortnight is a major boost for Spurs.

Kane has a history of shaking off injuries quicker than first thought and Pochettino has described him as an “animal”.

“He’s not ahead of schedule but everyone knows that Harry is an animal, he wants to be ready as soon as possible,” the Argentinian added.

“He made everything to try to recover and of course the injury that he suffered is tough to recover from but it’s more the possibility that when you push you push.

“In some injuries, you cannot push too much, because you need to be careful.

“When it’s a massive injury it’s completely different. We’re so happy that in the last 10 days he was fantastic, back in training again, and he can be available again.

“It’s going to be a massive impact for everyone.”

That leaves only Dele Alli in the treatment room as the England international continues to come back from a hamstring injury.

Pochettino put a one to two week timescale on a possible return, which could see him back for the Champions League last-16 second leg tie against Borussia Dortmund on March 5.

“His progression is good,” Pochettino added. “We’re happy. But it’s a massive injury, it’s different how we assess and how we follow and care for him.

“But he’s in the last part of his recovery but we’ll see as soon as possible if he can be available to be involved with the team.

“It’s difficult to know when – maybe one week, 10 days, two weeks. It depends on now.

“He’s in a key part, maybe the last part of his recovery and that is a key part and we can’t know if it will be one week, 10 days or two weeks, we’re going to assess him day-by-day.”

Spurs could lay down a massive marker if they can beat Sean Dyche’s team as, with Liverpool not in action until Sunday afternoon and Manchester City in Carabao Cup final action, the gap at the top of the table could be cut to two points.

It is not going to be easy against the Clarets, who are unbeaten in seven games and almost held Pochettino’s men to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture in December, before Christian Eriksen struck in added time.

Pochettino added: “Like always, we’re going to find a very aggressive team. That’s the key – to match their aggression and then find our way to play.

“It’s going to be tough. We struggled to beat them in December, we struggled to break them down and now they’re in a better period.

“We’re confident in ourselves but we know very well it’s going to be tough to beat them.”

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