LONDON • Tottenham Hotspur were dealt a severe blow on Sunday when their star striker Harry Kane suffered an ankle injury during their 6-0 FA Cup quarter-final thrashing of Millwall.
It is feared that the Englishman will be out for nearly two months.
But manager Mauricio Pochettino is not worried as he believes South Korean forward Son Heung Min can be an ideal replacement in their Premier League title chase.
Son found himself thrust into the spotlight at White Hart Lane on Sunday when he scored a hat-trick - his first goals since January. Vincent Janssen, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli were the other scorers.
The three goals Son scored were the perfect response to a section of the Millwall supporters who aimed unsavoury chants at the South Korean. His goals were also well-timed for Pochettino, who fears Kane could be sidelined for the rest of the season.
What he may miss
Harry Kane's previous ankle injury this season, against Sunderland on Sept 18, kept him out for 10 games. In his absence, Tottenham won four games, drew four and were beaten twice.
During that time they dropped six points in the Premier League, five points in the Champions League group stage and went out of the League Cup to Liverpool.
Tottenham have 11 league games remaining this season and an FA Cup semi-final tie.
Should Kane miss a similar spell, he may be available only for the final four league games of the season, against Arsenal at home, away to West Ham United, at home to Manchester United and away to Hull City.
The FA Cup final, should Spurs get there, is on May 27.
The English striker, who is joint top-scorer in the Premier League on 19 goals with Everton's Romelu Lukaku, was caught in the sixth minute by Jake Cooper as he took a shot and his leg became trapped under the defender.
He left the stadium on crutches and Pochettino fears it is a similar injury to the one that kept the 23-year-old out for seven weeks earlier this term.
A repeat would leave Son and Janssen as Pochettino's main options for the central striker's role.
Tottenham lie 10 points behind Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table. They have 11 league games remaining this season and an FA Cup semi-final.
"Of course I'm sad about Harry's injury but we have to find a solution," Pochettino said.
"Harry is one of the best strikers in England but we can't cry. It's never an excuse if we don't achieve our aims without Harry.
"Son can play like a striker. One of our best performances was against Man City here when he was a striker when Harry was injured."
Tottenham won that match 2-0 on Oct 2.
While Pochettino is confident in Son's ability to deputise for Kane, he will still be keeping his fingers crossed the striker can return in time to aid Tottenham's FA Cup and Premier League ambitions.
"He twisted his ankle in the same way as before. Now we have to wait, we will assess it," Pochettino said.
"When you lose a player like Harry, it's important the players that replace him score some goals."
The Football Association is set to investigate claims that Millwall supporters aimed racially motivated abuse at Son on Sunday.
Son was subjected to chants of "DVD" and "He's selling three for a fiver" from the visiting enclosure.
The reference to selling DVDs is considered to be a racist slur against Asians who sell black market films in London.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON