Spurs handed Kane boost ahead of Champions League final

Tottenham’s hopes of winning the Champions League have been handed a major boost, with Harry Kane sure he will be fit to face Liverpool in the Final next month.

Standard Sport understands Kane is very confident he will be included in the squad as Spurs bid to win the trophy for the first time in Madrid on June 1.

Kane has not played since suffering a ligament injury to his left ankle against Manchester City in the quarter-final first leg on April 9 and Spurs feared his season was over, but the striker is on course to make a quicker recovery than was first expected.

The 25-year-old, who has scored 24 goals for the club this term, has been increasing his rehabilitation in recent weeks. It is understood his individual sessions have been going well and that he got through another one without any problems at the weekend.

Kane is going to step up his programme this week and, barring any late setbacks, is going to be available to make the trip to Spain.

It will come as a huge lift for coach Mauricio Pochettino, although he will still have to decide whether he can play Kane from the start.

The England captain will have gone nearly two months without playing in a competitive fixture, so his lack of match sharpness could be a factor.

Spurs have come to rely on the pace of Heung-Min Son and Lucas Moura in attack during his absence, with both playing a key role in their successes over City and Ajax en route to the Final. Still, it would be a major surprise if Kane is not used as Spurs attempt to win Europe’s premier club competition.

Kane gave a strong indication he was on schedule immediately after the stunning triumph over Ajax in the semi-final a fortnight ago, when Moura completed a hat-trick deep in injury time to put them through on away goals.

He said: “Rehab is going well. I started straight-line running this week and I have to start training even harder to prove myself to the gaffer.”

Kane travelled with the squad to that game and gave a rallying team talk at half-time when Spurs were trailing 3-0 on aggregate, saying “Is this how we want our season to end?”

Kane’s recovery will also be a boost for England coach Gareth Southgate ahead of his country’s bid to win the UEFA Nations League in June.

Southgate named the forward in his provisional 27-man squad for the climax of the competition, when England play Holland in the semi-final on June 6, with the winners playing Portugal or Switzerland in the Final three days later.

A final group of 23 has to be confirmed next Monday and Southgate admitted last week that Kane’s inclusion would depend on the shape he is in ahead of the clash with Liverpool.

When asked if Kane needs to play in the Champions League Final to be considered, Southgate replied: “Not necessarily because they might take a view that Moura scored a hat-trick and Son played well so they keep him as an impact player. I guess that depends on how Harry trains in the build-up.”


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