Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane's ankle injury which could see him miss two months of the season should be blamed on manager Mauricio Pochettino's harsh training regime, according to a leading fitness expert. The 23-year-old suffered ankle ligament damage in the twilight of the 1-0 Premier League win over Sunderland and is expected to be out for the foreseeable future.
The Daily Mail understand Kane could be out for as long as eight weeks, making him a doubt for England's World Cup qualifier against Scotland on 11 November and the north London derby against Arsenal earlier in the month. Last season's top scorer in the top flight was stretchered from the field after a tackle on Papy Djilobodji and left White Hart Lane with his right foot in a protective boot.
Pochettino and Tottenham have refused to put a timeline on Kane's return from injury but the period out of the first team will give the England international a chance to rest after an exhaustive schedule over the past two years. Outspoken fitness coach Raymond Verheijen, who has previously worked with Barcelona and the Wales national team, says the Spurs boss' style of play is to blame for causing this latest fitness scare.
"Several players in one game struggling with their hamstrings is strange, especially at the start of the season," he told Talksport. "I think this is just one of several symptoms that I have tried to point out over the last few years that has to do with the training methods of Pochettino. Pochettino is a great coach and a great tactician, so I'm not so much questioning him as a coach in general, but one of the aspects within his approach – the training.
"When he was at Espanyol his team was fading away in the last phase of the season, at Southampton the same thing happened and it has also happened for the last two years at Spurs," he added about Tottenham, who failed to win any of their last four games last season in pursuit of the title. "He's demanding so much from his players. He's pushing them hard.
"If you look at this teams consistently fading away in the last months of the season, you can say that he's pushing them too hard, especially when you have so many players who have had a long season. You saw them fading away at the end of last season and then they had to play the European Championship.
"After that, pre-season is the moment when you have to let the players regain their freshness to have a good season. What probably has happened is that Pochettino has trained them too hard, too soon in pre-season, and twisting your ankle is a typical injury when you have accumulated fatigue."
Kane played in all 38 of Tottenham's Premier League matches last season, netting 25 times. Summer signing Vincent Janssen is likely to be entrusted with leading the line for the north London club, starting in the English League Cup against Gillingham.
Janssen is yet to register for his new club in six appearances this term since joining from AZ Alkmaar, but must starting firing to ensure Tottenham do not lose early ground in the Premier League and retain interest in both the EFL Cup and the Champions League.