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Mauricio Pochettino admits Harry Kane’s ankle is still bothering him

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Well, duh.

Tottenham Hotspur v Watford - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Harry Kane scored a goal in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 win over Watford on Monday in the Premier League, and might have had three if he was not a foot offside on a called back goal in the second half and couldn’t control a rebound off the post late in the match.

But if you thought he still looks a little off his game, you’re not alone. Kane just hasn’t looked as sharp as we’re used to seeing him ever since he’s come back from his ankle injury. There’s a reason to that, according to Mauricio Pochettino: he’s still not fully fit.

Here’s what Poch had to say when asked in the post-match press conference about whether Kane is still being affected by the ankle.

“Yes, of course. It is a mix about different things. I think it wasn’t a great period for him the last few weeks. He is human and, like everyone, was a little bit affected but with the help of everyone is doing well.

”He needs to improve still but he is happy -- 150 games in the Premier League, 105 goals. What we can say more about him? Fantastic striker. I am happy for him that he scored today and happy for the team.

”Of course he will be fit for the World Cup. He is a strong guy -- physically and mentally. I am sure that, first of all, he is going to perform for us in a very good way and then no doubt he’ll arrive in a very good condition to the World Cup.”

So, like, duh. Anyone who has actually watched Harry play the past few matches had to notice it. His pace seems more or less ok — Kane has never been the fleetest of foot. However, Kane is usually incisive with his turns and cuts and he just doesn’t seem to have that same focus lately. Also, he’s not shooting the ball nearly as much, with his shots per game about half of what it was pre-ankle injury.

And that’s a problem, because of the way Tottenham play with Kane in the lineup. When Kane isn’t able to hold up the ball as effectively and also get into scoring positions and crack off snap shots, the entire offense starts to stagnate. Also, it’s not like Spurs were playing poorly when Kane was out — with Son up top and either Lamela or Lucas Moura in Sonny’s old position, Spurs were playing well, and still providing lots of offense.

We all know the reason why Kane continues to get lots of minutes despite being, well, injured: he’s positively starving for goals and is desperate to catch Mohamed Salah in the race for the Golden Boot. Which is a shame because he probably should’ve been rested and used as a late-game super sub instead of being played at 75% in a couple of super critical end-of-the-season matches.

It’s okay, though, because Harry Kane did something else excellent today: he passed Didier Drogba’s career goal tally with 105 goals, and he did it in 104 fewer matches (150 to 254). And now that Spurs are back up five points on Chelsea and could pip Liverpool for third in the table by the end of the weekend, that kinda makes me think that Kane’s gonna be just fine. Banter.