Mauricio Pochettino 'cannot guess' extent of Harry Kane injury
LONDON -- Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed Harry Kane has suffered ankle ligament damage but refused to put a timeframe on the striker's return.
Kane was stretched off three minutes before the end of Sunday's 1-0 Premier League win over Sunderland, in which he scored the winner before leaving White Hart Lane on crutches and wearing a protective boot.
The England international, who won last season's Golden Boot after scoring 25 league goals, had a scan on Monday and reports suggested he would miss between six to eight weeks of the season.
But Pochettino told a news conference: "We don't know how long his injury is for. He's got a ligament ankle problem and we need to assess him every day and see. Today it's impossible to set times for recovery.
"I am not a doctor, I can only explain what the doctors said to me. He is in a very good mood. We chatted before in the restaurant, he's in a very good way.
"There are different rumours -- we cannot guess whether it's eight, 10, four, one [weeks]. It's impossible to assess today and know how long."
Asked if the layoff could prove a positive for Kane -- who has spent the last two summers on international duty with England and started every league game since November 2014 -- Pochettino said: "We need to be positive. Now the damage is done. We can only be positive and try to help him become stronger than before.
"It's important to help him. It's a good opportunity to build his body, his fitness, his mentality, to work hard on different aspects and help him become more strong."
Spurs face 12 matches in the next two months, starting with Gillingham's visit in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, so summer signing Vincent Janssen is set for an extended run in the team.
"We have another striker in Vincent, who can do the same. It's true they are different but they can play the same way," Pochettino said. "It's a big loss but that happens in football and I think we need to be ready to try to replace him. Vincent arrives in a good moment -- he's ready to compete.
"When we sign a player and build a strong squad, it's for that. When you have problems, like against Sunderland, it's important that a player is ready to compete. Football is a collective sport. We always talk about the squad, about teamwork and it's a good opportunity for different players to show their quality, and compete for a place in the starting XI.
"You can see his qualities. It's always difficult then you don't have an opportunity to play -- strikers are always excited to play and sometimes feel the pressure. Now he needs to be calm, and he has an opportunity tomorrow to compete."
Pochettino confirmed that Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele, who were replaced against Sunderland with hamstring problems, would be assessed but said he did not expect "a big problem" for either, while Danny Rose could return for Saturday's trip to Middlesbrough.
The Spurs manager expects to rotate his squad against the Gills and said teenage prodigy Marcus Edwards could be involved, despite playing 90 minutes for the under-23s on Monday.
"Shayon Harrison is injured. It's unlucky for him because he would have been in the squad," Pochettino said. "But maybe tomorrow Marcus is in the squad."