First, Mauricio Pochettino said in his pre-match press conference that Harry Kane is indeed back and will be a part of the match day 18, confirming that the striker has returned to fitness from his ankle injury a few weeks ahead of schedule. However, Dele Alli is still not ready, and Danny Rose is also questionable due to illness.
Everyone else, however, is healthy. It’s a bit miraculous.
#thfc Alli (hamstring) out of Burnley, & Rose (illness) a doubt. Otherwise a full Spurs squad for Saturday – including Kane.— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) February 21, 2019
OK, so Kane is back. But will he start? Maybe not. When asked that question, Poch said that sure, it’s possible that he gets into the starting XI against Burnley but that he will be the one making the decision, not Harry. Poch also apparently called Kane “an animal.”
Poch on Harry Kane: "He's very good. I think we need to assess him. One training session more and then decide. But I think he's doing well. Maybe he's going to be available to be part of the squad. We all know that Harry is an animal and wants to be ready as soon as possible.— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) February 21, 2019
Does Harry feel ready to play? "Yes, but I don't care, like him or another player it will be me to decide, with my staff, the sports science and the doctor. Of course if you ask him 10 days ago he was ready to play. The last worry is always with me who is going to take the risk."— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) February 21, 2019
Considering Spurs have a trip to Chelsea, a North London Derby, and a Champions League second leg vs. Dortmund all within the span of ten days after Saturday’s match at Burnley, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Kane starts the match on the bench but gets a good half hour to shake off the rust in the second half. He will probably be needed more going forward than he will on Saturday. I also don’t think wild horses could keep him off the pitch the entire match.
There’s also good, if still ambiguous news on the rehabilitation of Dele Alli, who is still coming back from a hamstring injury. Poch suggested he’s in the final phase of his recovery, but that the club is taking their time bringing him back because of the nature of the injury.
On Dele: "He's good. We're happy. This muscle injury is different. He's in the last part of his recovery. Difficult to know, maybe one week, 10 days, two weeks. In the last period, a key part of his recovery. We'll see because we're going to assess him day by day."— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) February 21, 2019
The upshot of all this is that Spurs are getting healthy at exactly the right time. There’s a killer stretch of important games coming up, and then the final push to the end of the season. Spurs have managed to weather the storm without Kane and Alli at the beginning of 2019, but they’ll need them if they’re going to make a serious push for the Premier League title and in the Champions League.
The Burnley-Tottenham match kicks off this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (UK), 7:30 a.m. ET.