Tottenham face anxious wait as Harry Kane fights to be fit for Carabao Cup final

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Jonathan Veal, PA
·4-min read
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Tottenham striker Harry Kane is in a race to be fit for the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City after he missed training on Friday.

Kane suffered another ankle injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton last Friday and missed Wednesday’s Premier League win over Southampton.

Interim boss Ryan Mason does not know whether the England captain will be available for Sunday’s showpiece game against City at Wembley.

“We’re not sure yet. He didn’t train with the team today (Friday) but we’ll have more of an idea tomorrow to see if we can get him back on the pitch,” Mason, who replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho on Monday, said.

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“It’s a case of taking it hour by hour now. So the days are obviously running out. It’s a case of seeing how he feels in the next four hours, the next six hours, and go from there. I can’t really answer that question until tomorrow. Everyone isn’t sure.”

Kane has a habit of rushing back from injuries, notably for the Champions League final in 2019 where he was well off the pace against Liverpool.

This ankle problem is nowhere near as serious but Mason said Kane will not be risked if it could inflict further damage.

“I think it was completely different, because Harry had a very long time out injured before the Champions League final,” Mason added.

“Like I say, I don’t know if Harry is going to be available for training tomorrow, let alone the game on Sunday. But, if he is, then it’s a quick turnaround. A week without training is not a problem for someone in Harry’s condition.

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“But I think we are going to have to assess it later tonight, early on tomorrow morning, and see if we can get him onto the pitch.

“Harry is a top professional. We’re taking it hour by hour, seeing how he feels. What we are not going to do and what Harry is not going to do is put his body on the line if he does not think it is suitable.

“We are never going to put Harry in that position, absolutely not. We will see how he is tomorrow and we can make a decision from there.

“It is combined effort. How does the player feel, what do the medics say? What’s the advice, what are the chances of something happening?

“Harry’s a mature man, a mature professional footballer. He’s dealt with certain situations. Ultimately, we’ll speak to him – ‘how do you feel?’ – and go from there.”

Harry Kane was rushed back to fitness for the Champions League final in 2019 but was well off the pace
Harry Kane was rushed back to fitness for the Champions League final in 2019 but was well off the pace (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mason, aged 29, finds himself in the incredible position of leading his boyhood club out at Wembley for a cup final on Sunday, capping a whirlwind week.

He started Monday morning as an academy coach before becoming the Premier League’s youngest ever manager following Mourinho’s sacking – all against the backdrop of the furore caused by the club’s involvement in the European Super League.

Mason was thrust into a Premier League game on Wednesday, which Spurs won 2-1, and now he could finish a crazy week by ending the club’s 13-year trophy drought.

“Yes, it means a hell of a lot. I’ve not really thought about it a great deal in that sense, because I’ve actually been preparing for the game,” he said.

“But I’ve said all along: it isn’t so much about me, it’s about the football club, it’s about Tottenham Hotspur being involved in these big matches, our fans getting to see us in these big matches.

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“My mind, my focus, is fully on the match. And maybe one day once the season’s done I can rest and get some time to think. Then I’ll look back on it and be very proud.”

Mason, who had to retire aged 26 because of a sickening head injury, was a player for Spurs when they were beginning to challenge under Mauricio Pochettino.

Asked whether Spurs should have won a trophy during that time, he said: “I think there was probably a two- or three-year period when Tottenham had chances, they maybe should have, but football doesn’t always work out like that.

“What they did do, they developed a great team. And the club went in a direction that we wanted, and everyone within the club wanted that.

“That’s how Tottenham should go about things. Unfortunately we didn’t get over the line. But if we don’t get over the line on Sunday, we still have our identity and our DNA as a football club. And that’s the most important thing.”