Kane a doubt for Rochdale after suffering knock against Juventus


Harry Kane twisted his ankle in Tottenham's 2-2 Champions League draw at Juventus, with Mauricio Pochettino suggesting the striker will miss Sunday's FA Cup fifth-round tie away to Rochdale.

Kane got the Spurs comeback up and running in Turin after Gonzalo Higuain's early brace, with Christian Eriksen's free-kick ensuring the Premier League side have parity - and a pair of away goals - ahead of next month's return game at Wembley.

The prolific striker became the first player to score nine times in his first nine Champions League appearances with his effort, which took the England forward to 33 goals in all competitions this season.

But Kane is unlikely to be given the chance to add to his impressive tally at Rochdale, with Fernando Llorente set to deputise in attack.

"He twisted his ankle, he received some knocks," Pochettino told reporters on Friday. "We need to assess tomorrow if he's fit.

"Maybe he has the possibility to start, if not 100 per cent and there's not the possibility to play 90 minutes, then to be on the bench, or if we see that he's not capable of half an hour or 20 minutes then to stay here.

"We need to assess him tomorrow [Saturday] to see if he's possible for Sunday. We are not worried [about Kane's availability for Spurs' next Premier League game, against Crystal Palace on February 26].

"Of course the effort that he made in the last few weeks was amazing and of course we need to care, no?

"It's one of the possibilities to start with Fernando and if he's going to play, it's another possibility to show his quality and of course have more luck than in his last game [drawing a blank in a 2-0 replay defeat of Newport County in the last round]."

While Kane may not be risked, Pochettino is considering handing a first Spurs start to January signing Lucas Moura.

"Yes, we're thinking of maybe giving him the possibility to start the game," Pochettino said. "We're thinking, it's in our head.

"He's working very hard, we're pushing him. Yes, we need to assess him tomorrow and see how we can do. But we are so happy with him and the way that he is working. Maybe he has the possibility.

"I haven't decided the starting XI yet. But sure I think it's a competition that maybe we use the facility to play some players. After a busy period in the Premier League and Champions League it's important to assess every single player.

"It's always Tottenham. It's not about the name, it's about the collective. To keep the performance and the motivation. It's important that we have 24 players who can play in all competitions."

Pochettino heavily criticised Rochdale's pitch when the draw was made, the League One side having covered the boggy turf with large quantities of sand to make the surface playable for their tie with Millwall in the previous round.

But the Argentine suggested he had gone too far when he referred to the pitch as "not in a condition to play football" and called for the Football Association to step in.

"I want to apologise if the [Dale] chairman took my comments in the wrong way," Pochettino said. "My comment was about first of all the players of Rochdale, our players and the competition. It's a game that all of England will be watching on TV.

"After the replay [against Newport], I was with my coaching staff and [County manager] Michael Flynn and all the Newport coaching staff. They showed me a picture from after the Millwall replay and it wasn't in a great condition and of course I was conscious of the FA Cup, the football and the image we're going to send. But I was careful of their players too, not only my players.

"Always I was very respectful. Now when I see through the Rochdale website, the pictures and the videos, I need to congratulate them. The effort was massive to put the pitch in the best condition to play without risk. I'm only thinking of having a great game.

"I think now everyone wins - Rochdale wins, the FA wins, Tottenham wins, I congratulate them, the effort was massive to put it in the best condition and I apologise again if someone took my words in the wrong way.

"We never talked [about switching the game to Wembley] because after this day we received the notification that they were able to relay the pitch and they started to work very hard. Always, I was confident and trusted in them they would give their best to fix the problem."