(Reuters) - Mauricio Pochettino will take a late call on whether in-form striker Harry Kane plays in Sunday’s Premier League match against Everton, with the Tottenham Hotspur manager unwilling to take any risks with his star striker who is nursing an injury.
Kane picked up a knock after colliding with a post in last weekend’s 4-0 win over Stoke City and was substituted in the second half after scoring a hat-trick.
Defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are doubtful for the weekend, with longer term absentees full back Danny Rose and midfielder Erik Lamela also unavailable.
“We need to wait until tomorrow to assess them, then take the decision,” Pochettino told a news conference on Friday.
”The first moment (Kane got injured) he said it was good. When after a few minutes he tried, I asked, and in that moment we made two changes. He said ‘I am okay’. But at the end of the game, when it got cold, it appeared more painful.
“I trust that he can play Sunday. But if not, if he is a risk, he will not be in the squad.”
Pochettino, who is among the bookmakers’ favourites to replace Barcelona manager Luis Enrique at the end of the season, said he was not surprised he had been linked to the Spanish giants.
“I saw it’s a big list, 100 names. Like I always told you it’s a business I know very well,” the Argentine added.
”For me Tottenham is one of the biggest clubs. We play very good football.
“It’s normal we catch the attention of other clubs and football people. We are part of that business and our names always appear on the lists.”
Second-placed Tottenham host seventh-placed Everton at White Hart Lane.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Andrew Roche