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Pochettino cagy on Harry Kane availability for Chelsea derby

Poch refused to rule out a Kane return, but come on, there’s no way, right?

AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Team news is out for the upcoming Easter Sunday London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge, and as expected, Spurs will need to find a way to win a tough game without both of their Harrys.

So much for the “he is risen indeed” jokes, huh?

Spurs released injury news via Twitter today and confirmed that Harry Kane will miss the match as he continues to rehabilitate from an ankle injury sustained in the win over Bournemouth a couple of weeks ago. Harry Winks is also out with an ankle injury of his own.

While this is a bummer (what is it with Tottenham Harrys and their ankles, anyway?), it’s not at all unexpected. When Spurs previously suggested that Kane would return to training “next month” most people correctly surmised that it would be too soon for him to feature against Chelsea. That’s not great news for Spurs, but they have already shown that they can play well and win without Kane, as illustrated by their 3-0 away win at Swansea in the FA Cup quarterfinals.

Notably, the injury report does not mention Dele Alli, who was reportedly carrying a knock in England training that kept him out of both matches, Victor Wanyama, who left international duty with Kenya early for physical reasons to return to London, or Toby Alderweireld, who started and played 90 minutes for Belgium earlier in the week. That’s good news.

Mauricio Pochettino has some options as to how to set up his squad against Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, but I think we’ll probably see Son Heung-Min at the tip of the spear with Dele, Christian Eriksen, and Erik Lamela behind him.

Update: #WELLACTUALLY Pochettino just spoke in a press conference and refused to rule out Kane from featuring at Samford Bridge. Here’s the appropriate quote:

“I can not say no, I can not say yes. If not this weekend maybe next weekend, but the most important is that we are so positive about his recovery, he is doing fantastic, we are so happy because after Bournemouth everybody believed it might be a long period out, but i think the evolution was fantastic.”

So that’s what he said. But come on, even if he makes the bench there’s no way Poch rushes back Kane for this match if there’s a chance that he reinjures his ankle and puts his World Cup in jeopardy.