Tottenham will be without five first-team players for Tuesday’s Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow but a latest scan has revealed Harry Kane could return earlier than expected.
Kane sustained an ankle ligament injury against Sunderland eight days ago and has been left out of the trip to Russia, along with Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko.
Dembele, Dier and Rose are all recovering from hamstring problems while Sissoko is being treated for concussion after taking a bang to the head against Middlesbrough on Saturday.
It means Spurs are under-strength for their crunch test in Moscow but manager Mauricio Pochettino said there was better news regarding Kane.
The striker was initially feared to be facing around eight weeks on the sidelines but it is understood it could now be closer to six, raising hopes the 23-year-old could play in the north London derby against Arsenal on November 6.
“Half an hour ago, we received the information about the scan. It’s much, much better than we expected,” Pochettino said.
“We are happy, it was very positive, the scan. We’re very, very happy about this news but still we cannot give a time of how long it’ll be to recover.
“I am not a doctor, it’s hard to say one, two, three weeks, but it’s much, much better than we expected.”
If Kane were to recover in time for Arsenal, he may also be in contention for England’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland five days later.
Tottenham will have to do without their star man in the brand new CSKA Arena, however, where they are looking to register their first point in Group E following an opening defeat to Monaco at Wembley.
Dier and Rose are also out but Pochettino said the pair are more likely than Dembele to make Sunday’s match against Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Ben Davies is likely to stand in for Rose at left-back while Dele Alli could drop into central midfield alongside the more defensive Victor Wanyama.
“Dier, Dembele and Rose are OK but we don’t want to take a risk,” Pochettino said. “Dier and Danny Rose are at the same level but Mousa, we’ll see.
“Why take a risk when we played one or two days ago at Boro and we have another game tomorrow?”
This will be the first time an English club has played in Russia since violence erupted among fans of the two countries this summer at Euro 2016.
Only around 250 Tottenham supporters have bought tickets for the game but Spurs have advised them not to show team colours, flags or banners until inside the stadium.