Harry Kane should not rush back from his latest injury, according to Glenn Hoddle, even if it means missing out on the climax of Tottenham’s season and this summer’s European Championship with England.
Kane has been out of action since New Year’s Day when he ruptured a tendon in his left hamstring at Southampton.
The striker had surgery to reattach the tendon to the bone and it is thought he could return to training in April, with a view to being fit for the final few games of the season in May, and then be ready to lead England at Euro 2020 in June.
Harry Kane has targeted a playing return in April after surgery on his hamstring
But former Spurs and England manager Hoddle is urging the Three Lions captain to take extra time to recover from this latest setback, his fifth serious injury in successive seasons.
Kane returned from a long layoff with an ankle injury in time for the Champions League final last June but looked far from fit, and was also below par in England’s Nations League finals shortly afterwards.
‘It’s very difficult for me to judge from outside the medical side of things, but all I would say is you’ve got to really err on safety first.
‘When you do something like that, where it (the tendon) has come off the bone then you’ve got to err on the side of safety and if you think you’re ready, give yourself an extra month. That’s what I would say because he’s got a wonderful career still ahead of him and he doesn’t want that (injury) to keep going, to have it from now to the end of his career recurring all the time. I think that’s really what he has to sort out in his mind.’
The Tottenham captain suffered his latest injury while playing Southampton in January
Hoddle was speaking at a screening of ‘Greavsie’, a film to be released on BT Sport this week (18th) to mark the 80th birthday next Friday of Jimmy Greaves, the Spurs legend who scored a record 266 goals for the club and 44 for England. Kane is chasing both of those records, with 175 for Tottenham and 32 for England, and Hoddle says only injuries may prevent the current Spurs striker from catching up.
‘You can’t compare them as players because they have totally different styles, but it’s within Harry’s grasp. The key thing is injuries and he’s overcoming this one at the moment. It is important that he doesn’t mess that up. He’s got to make sure it is 100 per cent right for the future.’
Kane has been plagued by a succession of serious injuries over the past several seasons
Hoddle also believes Kane’s ability to beat Greaves’ club record will also depend on whether he remains at Tottenham for the long term. ‘It depends on how long he stays at the club. He’s got to be realistic to get to that amount (266 goals), he’s probably going to have to stay another five or six years.
‘Is that going to happen? We’ll wait and see. Only Harry and the club would know, but he record is within his sights, and I never thought I’d be saying that about any Spurs player, so that is all credit to Harry Kane. And obviously there’s England as well, and it’s great that these two have come from Tottenham.’
Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle wants Kane to take his time so he returns in full health
Hoddle believes deserves wider recognition for his record-breaking feats as a player and ‘second’ career as a TV star after overcoming alcoholism, before a devastating stroke five years ago. Greaves has always been overlooked by the honours system, yet Hoddle supports the Mail’s campaign to ‘Get Greavsie a Gong’ and says a knighthood would not be undeserved.
‘Why not? I think that would be fantastic,’ said Hoddle. ‘Don’t forget, he had another career as well on TV, where he was excellent. It was great fun and he bought lots of smiles to a lot of people’s faces.’
But it was on the pitch where Greaves was peerless, and Hoddle compares him to Lionel Messi in the modern game. ‘He was an absolute genius at scoring goals, but there was more to it. He could beat people, he was so quick footed, like Messi.
‘We all remember the dribbles and lovely goals he scored, but I remember those one or two-touch finishes. They are the mark of genius and you can’t coach that. That’s instinct, a gift that is God-given.
Hoddle also had high praise for the goalscoring feats achieved by Jimmy Greaves
‘You could shut your eyes and know when Greavsie got the ball – there was a buzz, an expectation that something was going to happen. He had that flair and it got people on the edge of their seats. He was an absolute genius, no doubt about it. ‘
Greaves won the FA Cup twice with Spurs and Hoddle thinks his old club has a chance to win it again this year, now that Jose Mourinho has replaced Mauricio Pochettino.
‘One of the things aimed at Spurs over Pochettino’s era was the lack of silverware, but now they have got Jose Mourinho who is a serial trophy-winner. So he is the right man for Daniel (Levy) to get in and I think now you have the right jockey on the horse. It doesn’t mean the horse wins every time, but you’re at least giving yourself the best possible chance to win.’