Tottenham Hotspur V Southampton at White Hart Lane : Match Preview

18 March 2017
Tottenham Hotspur V Southampton - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Tottenham boss Pochettino: Harry Kane staying positive despite ankle injury

Harry Kane feels optimistic about his ankle injury and has joked about returning in less than a month, according to Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Spurs said on Tuesday the injury is considered less serious than the one Kane sustained in September, when he damaged the same ankle ligaments and was out for seven weeks.

Even if Kane is overly confident in hoping to return far sooner, his assessment suggests he could be back for next month's north London derby against Arsenal on April 30 and may even feature in the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea on April 22.

The cup clash at Wembley will come six weeks after Kane sustained the injury against Millwall last weekend.

"He is very positive, joking about (coming back) after the international break, three to four weeks," Pochettino said.

"It's good but we need to be careful with the injury. We trust completely our doctor and physios and that department who look after them in the best way."

On Kane's prediction, Pochettino added: "We don't know. I express the feeling and the way we are doing on the training ground.

"He is very positive but don't take it like properly my words because if not four, it's five to six weeks. But the good thing he is very positive.

"If you are positive in your mind you can affect your injury positively."

Kane has been left out of Gareth Southgate's England squad for next week's matches against Lithuania and Germany, while Tottenham will have to do without their star striker against Southampton on Sunday.

They may also have to cope without their two first-choice full-backs at White Hart Lane, given the club have revealed Kyle Walker twisted his ankle on a day off at home on Monday. Danny Rose is still recovering from a knee problem.

Pochettino would not divulge the cause of Walker's injury but said the defender had not trained this week and will have to be assessed. He is unlikely, however, to withdraw from the England squad.

Victor Wanyama is also struggling after enduring a "minor problem" against Millwall but Mousa Dembele, who missed the match with an ankle injury, is available. Erik Lamela remains sidelined with a hip injury.

Southampton boss Claude Puel remains wary of Tottenham's firepower despite the absence of Kane.

Puel knows only too well about their attacking prowess after his side were thumped 4-1 at home by Tottenham in December.

Dele Alli scored twice that day and Son Heung-min was also on target along with Kane.

Puel said: "Of course Kane is an important player for them, but they have other solutions, with Son, Alli, (Vincent) Janssen, (Christian) Eriksen.

"They have many offensive players of quality so they can do without him.

"It's a good game, a good challenge for us. A difficult game, but we like this game, the possibility to see if we have made progress since the beginning of the season - and since the winter when we lost at home to them.

"They were superior then and now it's interesting to see our progress."

Puel could bolster his defence by handing a first start to Martin Caceres.

The former Barcelona and Juventus centre-half, brought in on a free transfer last month, has completed two full under-23s matches to build up his fitness and is now in contention.