Anxious wait for Spurs and England

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane injured his right ankle in this tangle with Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic during the Spurs' 4-1 Premier League win on Sunday. Kane has scored 35 goals for his club this season and, if he is forced to endure
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane injured his right ankle in this tangle with Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic during the Spurs' 4-1 Premier League win on Sunday. Kane has scored 35 goals for his club this season and, if he is forced to endure a long recovery, it will have a flow-on effect for England, who will play two friendlies this month.PHOTO: REUTERS

Extent of Kane's ankle injury a main concern as he hurt the same joint twice last season

LONDON • Harry Kane is facing a prolonged period out of action, and could potentially miss the World Cup, after suffering an injury in Tottenham's 4-1 victory over Bournemouth on Sunday that resulted in the England striker leaving Dean Court on crutches and in a protective boot.

Kane collided with Asmir Begovic, the Bournemouth goalkeeper, in the 34th minute and, during a subsequent tangle of legs, twisted his right ankle.

The 24-year-old received treatment but was unable to continue and underwent a scan yesterday to assess the damage.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino refused to put a timeline on Kane's absence, but there is obvious concern within the club as the player missed 14 matches last season, having hurt the same joint on two separate occasions.

The maximum number of games Tottenham can play between now and the end of this campaign is 11, one of which is the FA Cup quarter-final against Swansea on Saturday - Spurs' only realistic hope of silverware this term - and another is a potentially decisive encounter with top-four rivals Chelsea on April 1.

There are also two England friendlies this month - against the Netherlands and Italy - and manager Gareth Southgate, who will name his squad for the games on Thursday, will almost certainly be unable to call upon Kane.

Southgate will no doubt be concerned that he also could be without Kane in Russia this summer.

  • Premier League talking points


    It always feels unfair to single out a young player, not least one who seems with each performance these days to become a one-man Arsenal social media event, a living banter-meme.

    And watching Alex Iwobi against Watford, it was tempting to wonder about a comfort zone at the wrong moment in his career. He still seems unsure of his place in the pecking order, too mannered to have any real sharp edges, and in danger of becoming another poster boy for Arsene Wenger.


    Manager Sam Allardyce took extra satisfaction in Everton's win not only because of the team's first clean sheet since Boxing Day, but also the impact of two January signings, £27 million (S$49.2 million) Cenk Tosun and £20 million Theo Walcott, who both helped to quell discontent around Goodison Park.

    Tosun sealed the 2-0 win over Brighton with his second Everton goal and showed the work rate and commitment that supporters have craved from the team this season.


    The sight of Jamie Vardy filing a contender for goal of the season with a brilliant volley on his weaker foot in the 4-1 victory over West Brom provided a gentle reminder, for anyone who needed one, that the 31-year-old is one of the Premier League's outstanding strikers.

    Only Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Mohamed Salah have scored more league goals this season, and it is tempting to wonder whether the England international would have a few more if he played for a top-six club.


"He (Kane) suffered an injury that is to the same ankle he suffered before," Pochettino said. "We hope it is not a massive issue. We need to wait until (the scan).

"Harry has a great character and is positive. We are, of course, disappointed with his problem but, if you are positive, you start the recovery now."

Kane has scored 35 goals in all competitions for Tottenham this season and has a career total of 12 in 23 appearances for England.

He is crucial to Spurs' hopes of finishing in the top four, as well as to England's hopes at the World Cup Finals.

The Spurs hotshot is currently tied with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah on 24 goals for the Premier League Golden Boot award and joint level at the top of the European Golden Shoe scoring charts.

Pundit Gary Lineker tweeted his fears, saying: "It wouldn't be a World Cup year if England's best player didn't have an injury scare. Wishing Kane a speedy recovery."

Former Spurs manager Tim Sherwood added in an interview with Sky Sports that his absence would be a "big miss", while pundit Tony Cascarino wrote in his column for The Times that "ankle problems can be such a weak point, so let's hope it's not too serious".

Dele Alli was also taken off after he suffered a groin injury against the Cherries, but the midfielder is not expected to be sidelined for long. "I don't believe that is a big issue. We need to, in the next week, manage him. I don't believe he will be a big problem," said Pochettino of Alli.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2018, with the headline 'Anxious wait for Spurs and England'. Print Edition | Subscribe