Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has ruled out Harry Kane for their next two fixtures as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury.
Kane had been expected to be sidelined until March after sustaining damage to his ankle ligaments against Manchester United in January, but soon returned to training.
The England captain’s rapid progress in his recovery from the injury had instigated hope that he could return in time for Spurs’ first leg against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday in their last-16 Champions League clash.
But Pochettino has now dismissed this possibility, but didn’t rule out a return for Kane against Burnley on February 23 in a Premier League match.
“He’s doing well, fantastic,” said Pochettino, according to Sky Sports
“You know him well, we need to stop every day because he wants to be ahead of his recovery. He’s very optimistic and his determination to play as soon as possible is unbelievable.
“He’s doing well, he’s nearly ready to play but we need to be realistic too and in between all the areas to take the best decision.
“I think he’s so close to come back. Not for Sunday [against Leicester City] or Wednesday [against Borussia Dortmund], but we will see after.”
Meanwhile, Pochettino will prepare his players for Sunday’s league match against Leicester City hoping to extend their record of 19 wins in their last 25 fixtures.
Despite going through two transfer windows without making a single signing, Spurs remain in the hunt for the Premier League this season with only five points separating them from leaders Manchester City.
Pochettino added: “We feel so proud and with all the circumstances the team is doing fantastically, the performance of the squad is unbelievable.
“Football is a collective sport and we are showing great character, personality and very good quality, fighting against big sides and being in a position that’s very close to the top.
“We hope to keep going in the same direction, trying to get the best results to try to be competitive and at the end, to fight for big things.”
The Spurs and Leicester match will begin at 2:30 PM (CET) on Sunday.
🔹 @Ben_Davies33 (groin) is continuing rehabilitation.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 8, 2019