Tottenham's Harry Kane must be fit for World Cup - Jan Vertonghen
Jan Vertonghen hopes his Tottenham Hotspur teammate Harry Kane will be fit when Belgium and England meet at the World Cup this summer.
The pair have faced each other almost every day in training for most of the last five years and could now come up against each other in Kaliningrad on June 28 when their respective nations meet in their third and final Group G fixture.
That will depend on Kane's fitness as the England forward is sidelined with ligament damage to his right ankle -- his third such injury in the last 18 months.
Though Kane, who has scored 24 Premier League goals this season -- second only to Liverpool's Mohamed Salah -- would likely prove a serious threat to Belgium's chances, Vertonghen told reporters in Belgium he still hopes to see Kane in the opposing lineup.
"The fact that we now risk facing a well-rested and in-form Kane at the World Cup doesn't matter for me. I prefer a fit Kane, whether he's an opponent or not," said Vertonghen, who is expected to earn his 99th international cap in Tuesday's friendly against Saudi Arabia.
"I don't think [the injury] is serious enough for him to miss the World Cup. I hope he'll return before the end of the season and then he has time for the national team."
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman