Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane may have to consider having surgery on his injured ankle, a leading surgeon has said.
Kane suffered a “significant lateral ligament” injury in his left ankle during Spurs’ 1-0 Champions League win over Manchester City and, although the club have yet to put a timescale on his return, he is unlikely to play again this season.
The Three Lions skipper is susceptible to ankle ligament damage as this is his fifth such injury since 2016 and the second to his left joint this year.
Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane has suffered a significant lateral ankle ligament injury. The club have not put a timescale on his recovery but the word significant I suspect is the key one #THFC #COYS
— Jonathan Veal (@jonathandveal83) April 11, 2019
Surgeon Mark Davies, a leading specialist at the London Foot and Ankle Centre who has operated on Premier League footballers, says that going under the knife could help restore the strength of Kane’s ligament to what it was before his first injury.
“At some point I think they would think about doing something surgically to stabilise the ligament, which is quite feasible and should restore the problem happening in the long term,” Mr Davies told Press Association Sport.
“I would certainly talk to him about the what advantages of having surgery would have.
“If he wasn’t playing football and he wasn’t going over on it then I wouldn’t do anything about it but every time you turn your ankle you run the risk of lateral ligament damage in the ankle.
“He’s not that old, he could do with a stable ankle if he wants to carry on playing long term without it happening again.
“It is a routine operation because the ligament needs to be tightened up and that is fairly easy.
“If he were to have surgery, the surgeon would almost certainly use an internal brace, which is a device which you put over the ligament repair and it is incredibly strong.
“It means you are not just relying on scar tissue regaining strength so it would improve his chances of coming back.
“Nobody is immune to spraining an ankle, you can have the strongest ligament in the world and if you subject it to enough force it would sprain, but you should restore it to pre-injury levels of stability.”
The surgery would put Kane out of action for around three months, which may not be much longer than he could be expected to be out anyway.
The England striker does have impressive powers of recovery, though, as he returned to action two weeks quicker than expected earlier this year and is targeting a return to fitness for a possible Champions League final and UEFA Nations League semi-final in June.
Davies, who has operated on Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea players in the past, says Kane’s quick recovery rates have not made him more susceptible, neither has a full on schedule which has barely seen him get any rest over the past few summers.
“There is no merit in him having an extended rest, they are not sending him back too early, it’s just that he has got an unstable ankle,” Davies added.
“When you suffer that injury, the ligament doesn’t get as strong, so the slacker and slacker it is going to get, the more frequently it is going to happen.
“They do get him back very quickly, but they wouldn’t send him out if he wasn’t ready.”