In the days leading up to England’s humiliating loss to Italy in the Nations League on Friday, journalist Matt Law revealed in the Telegraph that Harry Kane was working personally with a mystery, “genius” physiotherapist over the past few years who had done wonders for his suspect ankles and hamstrings. Now, in a separate article, Law thinks he has discovered who that physio is.
In a separate article, Law identifies Kane’s “ankle-whisperer” as Canadian-based Spanish physio Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga Claraco. Elorriaga Claraco reportedly has also worked with PGA Tour star Justin Rose. Kane has apparently used him for nearly three years, flying him out from Canada on his own dime as a personal trainer and credits him for the way he has bounced back from a series of ankle and hamstring injuries that dogged him for several seasons.
Kane did not personally reveal Elorriaga Claraco’s name but spoke highly of him and his work.
“I did my hamstring in January 2020 against Southampton away and since then I’ve actually found this new physio and we’ve been working together for nearly three years now. He’s been really great for me, we’ve worked for hours and hours over the three years, built up a really good relationship and I’ve seen changes in my body in terms of what my ankles were like before and now after. I’m in a totally different place. So, it’s really pleasing.”
“I wasn’t anxious, but I was frustrated. Whenever you’re trying to put a good season together, you’re in good form and you consistently get the same kind of injuries – I kept getting ankle injuries and that led to a bigger hamstring injury. So, I think as I’ve got older and more mature, you learn more about your body and how your body adapts to stuff, when you can push and when you should not push too hard. So you learn as you go on, and I’ve definitely learnt really well over the last few years about my body and myself. That’s helped me to consistently play at the level I have.”
Law suggests that Kane met Elorriaga Claraco through Rose, a PGA Tour champion who also uses him, calling him a “genius.”
“Then there is Alejandro Elorriaga, a genius of a man. With him I do between 50 and 100 hours of acupuncture each year. It is very intensive. He’ll come for a day or two and basically do a short MoT of my body for eight to 10 hours a day. I sometimes think it’s like [ten-pin] bowling with the bumpers up. If I veer left or right, there is somebody to edge me back on to track.”
You can’t really argue with the results. Kane missed significant time in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons with ankle ligament damage and a hamstring issue, respectively. Both times upon his return Kane looked like a different player and not in a good way, leading some (including this blog) to wonder if injuries would forever hamper his performance.
You probably can’t draw a straight line between Elorriaga Claraco working with Kane and his incredible rebound performances and scoring record over the past three seasons. Tottenham Hotspur probably has a lot to do with his recovery as well, plus a good amount of hard work (and some injury luck). But I think it’s safe to say that whatever Kane is doing, it’s working. And if working with Justin Rose’s genius Spanish physio is a part of that, it’s absolutely a good thing.
Kane is going to be playing an ungodly amount of football between now and the offseason in May, with Spurs expected to compete for four trophies and an incongruously stupid winter World Cup sandwiched in the middle of an already compressed season. It’ll be a minor miracle if he makes it through all of this without picking up even a small injury, but if paying for a private physio to keep his ankle ligaments from reverting to cooked spaghetti is what helps him make it through, well, who am I to judge?
Maybe we can get him to take a look at Oliver Skipp’s groin?