Belfast Telegraph

Tottenham wait on Harry Kane injury update amid ligament damage fear

By Mark Critchley

Mauricio Pochettino fears striker Harry Kane may have damaged ankle ligaments in Tottenham's 1-0 victory over Sunderland.

Kane scored the winner, his second goal of the season, at White Hart Lane but had to be carried off on a stretcher following a collision with defender Papy Djilobodji.

The 23-year-old was later seen leaving the stadium on crutches and wearing a protective boot on his right foot.

"We will assess him tomorrow. It was tough, he twisted the ankle," Pochettino said. "Now he feels pain and we see tomorrow. It's painful and we need to wait.

"I'm sure there may be a problem with his ligaments but it's difficult to assess today. We need to wait."

Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele limped off in the second half against Sunderland as well but Pochettino said both were suffering from cramp, rather than anything more serious.

Kane, Dier and Dembele all faced Monaco in the Champions League on Wednesday - although Dembele only came on for the second half - and the trio were involved at Euro 2016 with England and Belgium respectively

"Dier and Dembele only feel cramps in the hamstring, it's not that big an issue," Pochettino said.

"When you're in different competitions, Champions League is a different competition, we spent a lot of energy on Wednesday, it's different to the Europa League. It's new for us so it's important to learn.

"All of them are internationals, they come after a difficult summer, after playing in the Euros. It's difficult with holidays and pre-season and it's difficult to get fit."

Tottenham's victory over the struggling Black Cats means they climb to third in the Premier League table and maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

They managed 31 attempts on goal and had been the dominant force, even before Adnan Januzaj was sent off for a second yellow card late on.

Pochettino had been critical of his side's energy levels in their defeat to Monaco last week but the Argentinian was satisfied, even if it took a hashed clearance from Papy Djilobodji for Kane to break the deadlock.

"It was a good result," Pochettino said. "For the chances we create it's difficult to understand why only 1-0."

Moyes, meanwhile, refused to expand on the reasoning behind Patrick van Aanholt's late removal from the Sunderland starting line-up The 26-year-old left-back was replaced by Jason Denayer on the teamsheet shortly before kick-off due to 'medical reasons', according to his manager.

However, despite Van Aanholt's apparent injury, television cameras captured him reacting to the news with surprise.

The Dutchman appeared to be informed of his demotion by Denayer during the pre-match warm-up and subsequently kicked a ball away in frustration.

When asked to explain why Van Aanholt was replaced, Moyes responded coyly.

"I've given a stock answer: for medical reasons, we chose to withdraw him from the game. If you don't mind, I won't follow up," he said.

"You know me, I'd always like to be straight but I'm giving you what I think the best answer right now is."

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dier (Davies, 77 mins), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Wanyama, Dembele (Lamela, 74 mins), Sissoko, Alli, Son, Kane (Janssen, 87 mins). Unused subs: Vorm, Trippier, Eriksen, Winks.

Sunderland: Pickford, Manquillo, Denayer (McNair, 90 mins), Djilobodji, Kone, Cattermole, Ndong, Kirchhoff (Khazri, 79 mins), Pienaar (Watmore, 63 mins), Januzaj, Defoe. Unused subs: Mika, Love, O'Shea, Gooch.

Referee: Mike Dean

Man of the match: Son Heung-min

Match rating: 6/10

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