Tottenham Hotspur and England midfielder Dele Alli could be rested between now and the end of the season as he continues to be hindered by ankle and knee injuries. The 19-year-old has made 45 appearances in all competitions in his maiden season at White Hart Lane since moving from Milton Keynes Dons.
Alli passed a late fitness test and played the full 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw with North London rivals Arsenal on 5 March, but despite setting up Harry Kane's goal it was a largely ineffectual showing from a player who has scored seven goals and made nine assists this season. His club performances are set to extend Alli's playing commitments into the summer, as he is among the players being considered to play for England in the upcoming European Championship.
But a gruelling campaign is already taking its toll on Alli and it could yet rule him out of part of Tottenham's title run-in, which sees them five points adrift of leaders Leicester City with nine games remaining. Pochettino admits he could be forced into resting the player, with the club also through to the last 16 of the Europa League.
"He is an incredible athlete, yes, but he is not a machine," the Spurs boss said, according to Sky Sports. "He has a problem in his ankle and knee. He was good before the game but the players are not machines. It depends. We assess the players every day and we take the best decision from the team.
"We try to look after all of them. We played a lot of games and we come from a difficult season, because we've played a lot. I think that we have good staff, good sports science and medical [staff], who can look after the players in a good way.
"We have a lot of players who are young and in their first or second season in the Premier League. It's very tough and we spend a lot of time analysing and finding information to give the best training sessions or recovery, or to find the best way to help them."
"I don't know about him lacking energy [against Arsenal]," he added, ahead of Tottenham's European visit to Borussia Dortmund. "The second goal he looked fresh. Maybe we expect from him to run more than 14km in every game. I think today he was one of the best players, he showed energy and character."