Will Harry Kane Be Fit For The Champions League Final?
Tottenham captain Harry Kane has been out of action since April with an ankle injury, but a European miracle could see him return to the side in time for the Champions League final against Liverpool.
A knocked picked up against Huddersfield looked to have ended his season two months early, though he has confirmed to have returned to training following Spurs’ Champions League heroics.
He will miss out on the final Premier League clash against Everton but may be fit in time for the final in Madrid on June 1 – a huge boost for the club.
Kane was absent for the Champions League two-legged quarter-final against Manchester City, though his side progressed to the semi-finals following heroics from Heung-min Son and Fernando Llorente.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has declined to comment on whether or not Kane’s injury meant the end of his domestic campaign, though admitted in April a return was possible in the unlikely – yet glorious – chance that his side make their first ever Champions League final.
“For sure it is going to be difficult,” he told reporters. “If we are capable of beating Ajax and be in the final in June 1 then maybe yes. Yesterday we were talking about that, we’ll see.”
Sure enough, Tottenham staged an incredible second-leg European comeback against Ajax when Lucas Moura netted a hat-trick in Amsterdam to win the tie 3-3 on aggregate, going through on away goals.
Kane could only watch from the stands at the Johan Cruyff arena as his side did the unthinkable, still sidelined with his ankle injury. The sight of him running out on the pitch to celebrate with his teammates at the full-time whistle, however, gave fans hope that he would be fit to compete in the final in against English rivals Liverpool.
In a post-match interview, Kane revealed his hopes to be fit for the final. A win over the Merseysiders would see Tottenham win their first trophy since a League Cup victory in 2008, and their first-ever Champions League title.
“Hopefully [I’ll be fit]. Rehab’s going well so far. I started straight-line running this week so that’s why I was okay to straight-line run today,” Kane told BT Sport. “I didn’t want to cut any corners. We’ll just see. So far so good. If it carries on the way it should then I hope to be [fit], but there’s still a few weeks.
“Lucas has scored a hat-trick, we beat City [in the quarter-finals], we beat Ajax in the semis. I have to start training even harder and prove myself to the gaffer. Hopefully I’ll be back fit and hopefully get a starting place.”
Following the victory in Amsterdam, however, Pochettino, refused to even entertain the possibility of Kane being fit for the final and stormed out of his post-match press conference when quizzed about the topic.
The Argentine stood up and bid the reporters in the room “ciao” before immediately leaving.
Victory over the Toffees on the final day of the season will ensure they finish above London rivals Chelsea in third place, having already secured Champions League football for next season.
Pochettino’s team will then be given almost three full weeks of rest ahead of the final in Madrid, with no further domestic games to be played.
Kane is bound to be eyeing the three-week window to get himself not only match-fit for the European test against Liverpool, but also England’s Nations League semi-final against Netherlands in Portugal five days later on June 6.
Liverpool staged a heroic European comeback of their own when they overturned a 3-0 first-leg deficit against Barcelona to win 4-0 at Anfield.
Tasked with overcoming the La Liga champions without the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, who were absent due to injury, Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi both netted twice to win the tie 4-3 on aggregate.
The all-English Champions League final will take place on June 1 at the Wanda Metropolitano.
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