It’s a big if…
But if it wasn’t for untimely injuries this season, Tottenham Hotspur may well not be 10 points behind Chelsea in the title race.
Think about it.
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Harry Kane came off injured in their FA Cup quarterfinal win against Millwall on Sunday and the north London club face an anxious wait to find out the severity of his injury.
Spurs lost Kane with a left ankle injury for over six weeks in October and November and they dropped points against West Brom, Bournemouth and Leicester. It’s not inconceivable to believe that the Premier League’s leading goalscorer — he has 19 for the season — would’ve found the net and made the difference in those games.
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Mauricio Pochettino told reporters after the 6-0 win over third-tier Millwall that Kane’s injury is similar to the one which kept him out for six weeks earlier this season.
“He twisted his ankle. Now we wait, assess and see what happened,” Pochettino said. “It is the same ankle as he injured against Sunderland. We hope it’s not a big issue but it looks similar [to the injury earlier in the season]. It will be difficult for him to play against Southampton.”
Big injuries have been interspersed throughout this season for Spurs.
In defense they lost Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose at different stages of the season, plus Erik Lamela has been out long-term and Mousa Dembele was suspended for the opening five games as they had a sluggish start to the campaign.
It’s easy to speculate what could’ve been but look at Chelsea. They’ve missed Diego Costa and Eden Hazard for a game here and there, but the rest of their team has been settled and injury free. Like Leicester last season, injuries need to be kind to you and Kane’s latest ankle ailment has once again come at a bad time for Tottenham.
With Premier League games coming up against Southampton, Burnley and Watford, all three are encounters Spurs should win to try and put the pressure on Chelsea. Still, with Kane likely to be out for those matches, his untimely absence could once again scupper Spurs’ title chances. That’s not to say Heung-Min Son and Vincent Janssen won’t step up in Kane’s absence but Pochettino would obviously rather have Kane fit and healthy.
Injuries won’t be the determining factor in where Spurs finish this season, but they will have played a big part.