Tottenham striker Harry Kane is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring injury and could return for as many as five matches at the end of the season, according to manager Jose Mourinho.
Kane has been absent from the matchday squad since suffering a ruptured tendon at Southampton on New Year’s Day.
Mourinho has previously stated his talisman could be back for the club’s final two games, but gave a more positive update on Kane on Friday.
The England international has begun on-field rehabilitation work, including individual training drills away from the rest of the squad.
Asked how Kane’s recovery was going, Mourninho said: “I would say a little bit ahead. It gives me hope. Instead of [being back for] one or two matches, [it could be] three, four or five.
“We are speculating a little bit but the feelings are good. He is doing what he can do at this stage and always with a good feeling.
“Sometimes you follow the protocols and you have setbacks because you have bad feeling with certain movements, but it is going well. Hopefully he can help us in the last part of the season.
“He is the kind of guy that doesn’t accept protocol or a single date or fixture [for his return]. He is a great professional and a fighter and he wants to be back as soon as possible.”
Tottenham have also been without Heung-Min Son since he suffered a broken arm in their 3-2 win at Aston Villa earlier this month.
The South Korean is recovering in Seoul and will not return to the Tottenham training ground once he arrives back to the UK as the club follow government advice on the coronavirus outbreak.
Spurs had initially feared Son’s arm injury would mean he would be sidelined for the remainder of this campaign, but Mourinho believes the forward could cut short his absence by playing in a cast.
“That is another hope but we are far from it,” Mourinho said. “He is coming back to England very soon.
“He will have to follow some safety protocols because he is flying from Seoul.
“When his recovery process has started we will try all possibilities to have him back for some matches.
“I can’t imagine when, but there is a good possibility that before the end of the season we have Harry (Kane) and Son playing together.”
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