It’s safe to say that Tottenham Hotspur missed Harry Kane in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United. While Kane missed the match with a minor hamstring strain, it’s still uncertain whether he will be fit in time to play against Real Madrid at Wembley Stadium in the Champions League this Wednesday.
Mauricio Pochettino took a cautiously optimistic tone in comments to the English media today regarding Kane, but was quick to qualify that the decision has yet to be made as to whether Spurs’ talismanic striker will be ready.
"With the doctors and the player, we will take the best decision for everyone.
“It's not the last game or the final where you would say, 'OK, after that it's holidays'. We must analyse and take the best decision for everyone.
"We will assess him and then we will make the best decision. My feeling is good. But it's not my feeling, it's Harry Kane's feeling."
That sounds pretty good, but Poch is probably right to stay cagey on this matter. I think he’s right that if this were a cup final or a critical match at the end of the season Kane might push himself to return. Everything is pointing to this being a pretty minor injury, all things considered. But if there’s a chance that Kane could exacerbate this injury by pushing himself to be ready, is it worth the risk?
This is kind of a critical decision. With a loss, Spurs are staring at a three-match losing streak, and while those things happen it’s something that they would certainly like to avoid. On the other hand, getting a result against Madrid mid-week without Kane would be another addition to the list of Spurs’ bonafides, and would help dispel the media-driven perception that Tottenham are a one-man team. Of course, Kane could also be fine, score a hat trick en route to a 6-0 win over Madrid, and everything will be right with the world. We just don’t know!
Regardless, it doesn’t appear that we’re going to get much clarity on this issue until the lineups drop on Wednesday afternoon.