World Cup fears fade as Kane is set to return next month

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (right) applauds the fans at the end of the Uefa Champions League round of sixteen second leg football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus at Wembley Stadium in London, on March 7, 2018.
Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (right) applauds the fans at the end of the Uefa Champions League round of sixteen second leg football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus at Wembley Stadium in London, on March 7, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Tottenham expect to have Harry Kane back in training next month and back to action in about four weeks after a scan revealed the extent of the ankle injury he suffered at Bournemouth on Sunday.

The Premier League club announced on Twitter that "preliminary assessments have confirmed that Kane has damaged lateral ligaments in his right ankle. He is expected to return to first-team training next month".

It is the third time since the beginning of last season that the striker has suffered the same problem.

On the first occasion, when he went down at Sunderland in September 2016, he was out for seven weeks while he missed four weeks after the second occurrence, which came against Millwall at White Hart Lane in March last year.

Tottenham believe that the latest setback is more similar to the Millwall injury.

The update will reassure England fans who were worried that Kane would miss the June 14-July 15 World Cup. But it will rule him out of Gareth Southgate's squad for England's upcoming friendlies this month against the Netherlands and Italy as well as at least three Spurs games - the FA Cup quarter-final at Swansea City on Saturday and the league fixtures at Chelsea and Stoke.

Southgate will select his squad for both friendlies today and the diagnosis would have come as a relief to the England manager, with initial British media reports suggesting that Kane was facing a race against time to be fit for the World Cup .

England will face Tunisia, Belgium and Panama in their World Cup group stage in Russia.

If all goes well, Kane could make his comeback when Spurs face league leaders Manchester City at home on April 14.

Tottenham are third in the Premier League table and will feature in next season's Champions League if they finish in the top four.

Kane, who has scored 35 times in all competitions for Spurs this season, sustained the injury in a collision with Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic during the 4-1 away win. He tried to play on but was forced to come off and left the ground on crutches.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2018, with the headline 'World Cup fears fade as Kane is set to return next month'. Print Edition | Subscribe