'Difficult situation' - Mauricio Pochettino delivers stark warning over fitness of Tottenham star
By Russell Edge
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has warned that the fitness of star striker Harry Kane must be carefully managed ahead of the international break.
The England striker missed both the Lilywhites’ League Cup defeat to West Ham and the Premier League loss to Manchester United with a hamstring injury, returning in the 3-1 Champions League victory over Real Madrid.
He managed 75 minutes of the club’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, before being replaced by Fernando Llorente, and Pochettino confirmed after the game he had been replaced for the benefit of his own fitness.
The Argentinian manager also gave a stark warning that England would have to manage his fitness following his injury layoff, and says he hopes they keep in touch with the club to ensure he remains available after the two week layoff.
Speaking about Kane after the club’s victory over the Eagles, he was quoted by the Guardian as saying: “It’s a difficult situation for everyone. For us, we are focusing on our problems and our injuries but I also understand completely what the national team wants and needs.
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“The most important thing is that the national teams, including England, understand the needs of our players and help them so they will be fit when they return here.
“All you can do is have good communication and explain the situation of everyone and then trust in them.
“I subbed him (Kane) to protect him after Real Madrid last Wednesday. It was such an emotional game and it is better to avoid a risk.”
England have friendly fixtures against international giants Brazil and Germany lined up at Wembley over the next fortnight, with Kane likely to be Gareth Southgate’s first choice striker as he prepares for the Three Lions’ 2018 World Cup campaign.
He has been in excellent form this season, with the 24-year-old having netted 13 goals in 14 appearances across all competitions.
In other Tottenham news, Pochettino has delivered a worrying update on the fitness of another of their star men.