There’s something about professional sportspeople that, when you get a glimpse into their soul, you understand why you, a regular person, are not a professional sportsperson.
For Harry Kane, that moment came when he swore on his daughter’s life that he got a touch on a goal that it really didn’t seem like he got a touch on.
To people with regular day jobs, that might sound extreme. For Kane, it’s the kind of drive and determination that’s propelled him to be one of the best strikers on the planet.
However, it might also be why the England captain continues frequenting the treatment room at the club’s Hotspur Way training ground.
The Tottenham striker is famous for returning from injury earlier than expected. Some players just heal quicker than others, but it’s documented that Kane bugs Mauricio Pochettino to put him back into the side.
“I don’t care if he feels ready or wants to play,” Pochettino said earlier this year. “I’ll decide with my coaching staff, with the doctor and the medical staff and sports science staff.
“Of course, if you ask him then ten days ago he was ready to play. But in the end, the last word is always mine.”
Kane returned to action two days later.
Kane’s latest setback arrived midweek when he hobbled off during Spurs’ Champions League win over Manchester City. It is the fifth ankle injury the 25-year-old striker has suffered in in three seasons, per Transfermarkt. The first three were on his right foot and the latter two on his left.
The first was a lengthy absence but then it seemed Kane was destined to have an annual, enforced spring break. His second and third ankle injuries occurred and were overcome almost a year to the day after each other.
When he went down in January against Manchester United, it looked like Kane’s Anklemas might have come two months early. But no, the spring injury is back for a third year, meaning Kane’s suffered two knocks to the same area in quick succession.
It would be unwise to leap to too many conclusions – if these all happened to the same ankle then we might have a serious reason for concern.
However, Kane’s performances took a dip after he rushed back from his time on the sidelines at the end of last season, and his recent injuries seem too closely linked to be pure coincidence.
Fortunately, Pochettino and Kane’s hands may be tied on this occasion. The end of the season is so close that it would be incredibly surprising if the striker managed to make it back to some semblance of match fitness by mid-May.
But, on the off-chance that he is, both parties should be wary. Sports stars might be different from regular folks but there are some things common to everyone: we all need time to heal.