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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Pochettino hails 'animal' Kane as striker eyes Spurs return

AFP , Thursday 21 Feb 2019
Harry Kane
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Harry Kane was Thursday labelled an "animal" by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino as the striker battles to prove his fitness in time for Tottenham's weekend clash with Burnley.

The England captain has returned to training from an ankle injury that kept him out for seven games, with his club sitting third in the Premier League.

"He is very good and I think we need to assess him in one more training session and then decide," Pochettino said at his pre-match press conference.

"He is doing very well and maybe he is going to be available at Burnley.

"Harry is an animal and wants to be ready as soon as possible. In the last 10 days he has been fantastic and having him back available is a fantastic boost for everyone."

Kane 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 his player's opinion.

"I don't care if he wants to play or not," said the Argentine. "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."

The prospect of having the Kane 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 expected but Pochettino emphasised the need to plan his return carefully.

"When it's a massive injury it's completely different," said the Spurs boss. "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."

Kane's return leaves only Dele Alli in the treatment room as the England international recovers from a hamstring injury.

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

With Liverpool not playing until Sunday and Manchester City in League Cup final action, Spurs could close the gap at the top of the table to just two points if they beat Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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