Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that Harry Kane will miss the second leg of Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League semi-final against Ajax, per Football.London.
Kane sustained ankle ligament damage in Spurs’ quarter-final first leg tie against Manchester City and subsequently missed the decisive leg at the Etihad Stadium.
Spurs, of course, progressed thanks to a controversial 4-3 loss on the night, qualifying for the semi-final against Ajax.
Hopes among fans have been high that Kane may return before the end of the season but Pochettino, after some help from assistant Jesus Perez, confirmed on Monday that it is almost impossible for the England captain to play in the Netherlands.
Quoted by Football.London, Pochettino said: “He’s doing well. He’s working, starting to run a little bit inside.
“His rehab is so good but we cannot create any ideas that after we cannot maybe achieve.
“The most important thing is he’s good and in a good place, so focused and we see what happens, we assess him every day. We are happy but we will see.
“Is there chance he could play in the second leg?
“No chance Jesus? Jesus says no chance.”
Spurs may well be saving Kane for the unlikely eventuality that they are in the Champions League final.
They have to negotiate a tricky two-legged tie with the Dutch giants first; Ajax have already knocked out both Real Madrid and Juventus in this season’s competition.
Spurs are undoubtedly underdogs but rushing Kane back makes little sense if their eyes are on the bigger prize.
After all, they will surely need him if they take on either Liverpool or Barcelona in Madrid.
Their hopes of completing one of the most dramatic European triumphs may rest on it.