Good news, everybody! Tottenham Hotspur are healthy again! Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said, in quotes given to Sky Sports News, that Harry Kane, Steven Bergwijn, and Moussa Sissoko, the three Spurs players with the most significant injuries at the time of football’s shutdown, are now recovered. They are not, however, match fit.
“They are recovered from their injuries. So Harry Kane is not injured, Moussa Sissoko is not injured, Steven Bergwijn is not injured, but it is one thing not to be injured, it’s another thing to be ready to play football.
“For them it is many, many, many weeks of injury and when the injuries were almost at an end, we stopped training. I don’t know, they don’t know, we have to wait for the official and right permission for the players to train again in groups to see if they can come back to a normal competition level.
“So if we play this season, the remaining nine matches, it would be good for everyone of us, it would be good for football, it would be good for the Premier League if players of that quality can play the remaining matches.”
So, on the one hand — duh. Of course they’re not match fit. They can’t even participate in full training, much less play competitive football. The most the current players can do is ride an exercise bike in their home gyms or go for a run outside (socially distant, of course).
It does bring up an interesting point about the toll that restarting football will have on all professional footballers, however. With nine games to play, if the Premier League does restart it will almost certainly be in some sort of condensed form with multiple matches in a week. Asking players who haven’t been able to train to come in and expect late-season fitness and performance under those circumstances is a bit unfair. You’d have to expect that there’d be some massive rotation, or a bunch of players will get injured or re-injured due to over-exertion, and even rotation is risky considering what’s at stake for the clubs involved.
Mourinho seems to take the opposite approach, talking how it’d be good for footballers to play football. He’s not wrong, but it probably stems from his admission that he misses the game, as does everyone.
“I miss football. But I prefer to say I miss our world, like I think we all do. Football is just part of my world. But we have to be patient, this is a fight that we all have to fight.”
However, this is still good news for Spurs fans and we shouldn’t lose sight of that. Kane, Bergwijn, and Sissoko are all healthy again. That’s a good thing, and gives Spurs the best possible chance of moving into a European competition qualification space if the season does resume.