Pep Guardiola will not rush Benjamin Mendy back for Manchester City, however keen the Frenchman is to play.
Left-back Mendy is now back in training with the Premier League leaders after six months on the sidelines following cruciate ligament knee surgery.
Mendy, who made a huge impression in the early weeks of the season after joining City in a £49.1million move from Monaco, has said he hopes to return to action next month.
But City boss Guardiola wants to be on the side of caution and feels he may have to hold the 23-year-old back for his own good.
Guardiola said: “The most important thing after six months is to be careful.
“He believes, ‘I am strong, I will come back soon, I will play like I did before the injury.’ That is not happening.
“Even if he believes he is strong he is not strong enough. After six months, he has to be careful.
“But, of course, it’s so important he comes back. He trains in all the training sessions with us. The knee is going well because he was operated on by the best doctor in the world (Ramon Cugat) for doing that. It’s going really well.
“We are so happy because maybe he can help us for 20 minutes, 25 minutes.”
Mendy’s comeback would then follow a similar path to that of Ilkay Gundogan, who also suffered a serious knee injury in December 2016.
The German was eased back into action at the start of this season but it was not until a year after the injury that he began to start games regularly again.
Guardiola said: “We cannot forget Gundogan played in the past month a lot of games – I think all the games, 90 minutes, except the last one.
“But before that, he played one game, rested for two, one game, rested for two, because after six months, the next step is muscular injuries.
You have to try to avoid that.
“Maybe he (Mendy) can go to the World Cup and come back next season stronger.”
City head to Stoke on Monday night looking to claim the first of the four remaining wins they need to secure the title. Victory would re-establish a 16-point lead at the top of the table with eight games remaining, although City are not in league action again until facing Everton on March 31.
Jose Mourinho’s odd war of words with his own home fans continued on Saturday as he criticised the Old Trafford crowd’s reaction to a perceived negative pass played by midfielder Scott McTominay during Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool.
The moment came in the second half, when McTominay opted to play the ball back to his defence rather than looking for a more attacking option, prompting frustration from the crowd.
Some fans also booed Mourinho’s decision to take off two-goal hero Marcus Rashford late on in the game and replace him with returning midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
“The fans they can do what they want,” Mourinho said. “I am not upset at all with that reaction [about Rashford].
“But I am upset with the reaction they had with Scott McTominay. A kid of 20 years old was making all the right decisions and they wanted him to make the wrong decisions.
“When he decides to break the intensity of the game, it was a wonderful solution and the fans reacted against the kid. That was the bad one. To react against me, that was not the problem.”
England international Kane will undergo a scan on Monday having picked up the problem scoring a disallowed goal at the Vitality Stadium.
With England manager Gareth Southgate set to name his squad for the forthcoming international friendlies against Holland and Italy before Spurs face an important FA Cup quarter-final at Swansea next weekend, Kane could be a major absentee for club and country.
However, Spurs manager Pochettino insisted it was too early to know the severity of the issue, which was sustained on the same ankle kane has previously injured.
“We need to wait until tomorrow because we need to make a scan of his ankle,” replied Pochettino when asked about the condition of the Premier League’s joint leading goalscorer.
“Of course he suffered an injury that is in the same ankle that he suffered before. But we hope that it’s not a massive issue.
“He felt that when he ran and twisted his ankle that it was impossible to stay on the pitch.
“Harry has a great character and is always positive, happy with the victory for the team, of course disappointed with his problem. But if you’re positive you start the recovery from injury from now.”
Kane’s international team-mate Dele Alli also seemed to pick up an injury on the south coast, suffering a problem with his groin.
Speaking about Alli, Pochettino added: “I don’t believe that it’s a big issue.
“We need to, in the next week, manage him. But I don’t believe it will be a big issue.”
Tottenham climbed above Liverpool and into third in the Premier League on the back of their comeback victory as they battle for a top-four finish.
A double from the impressive Son Heung-min, plus goals from Alli and Serge Aurier stretched the north Londoners’ unbeaten league record to 12 matches after Junior Stanislas had given the hosts an early lead.
The win also saw Spurs bounce back from their disappointing midweek Champions League exit at the hands of Serie A side Juventus, to the delight of Pochettino.
“I’m so pleased. After Wednesday, I think the reaction was important for the team,” he added.
“I think after we conceded the goal, the team reacted and we started to play. It’s a massive three points for us.”
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe felt the scoreline flattered Spurs and was unhappy that Callum Wilson had an 84th-minute goal disallowed at 2-1.
Referee Mike Dean blew for a free-kick after spotting a slight push by striker Wilson on Spurs defender Davinson Sanchez, although replays suggested the decision was harsh.
“I think it’s a very, very soft call from the referee,” said Howe. “If there was any contact, it was minimal and at 2-1 down that has a huge bearing on the result.”
He added: “Physically it was very intense for both sets of players. I thought we gave everything to the match, ultimately they were too good for us.
“But the scoreline definitely is an untrue reflection on how the game went. We were well in that right to the end.
“They are one of the best teams in Europe without a doubt so the fact we’ve stretched them and taken them so far I think is a compliment for my team.”