Harry Kane injures ankle, Tottenham and England hold their collective breath

Tottenham striker Harry Kane was forced to leave Sunday’s game against Bournemouth in the first half with an ankle injury. And as he walked off down the tunnel at the Vitality Stadium, both Spurs and all of England held their collective breath.

Kane, the Premier League’s joint top scorer, is Tottenham’s most important player, and arguably England’s as well. With a tight Premier League top-four race coming down the home stretch, and with the World Cup just three months away, a long-term injury to Kane could have far-reaching consequences.

Kane suffered the knock to his right ankle while scoring past Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, only to have the goal ruled out for offside.

Harry Kane was injured in this clash with Bournemouth keeper Asmir Begovic. (Getty)

It initially looked like the 24-year-old striker would continue despite the injury, but he was withdrawn in the 34th minute, replaced by Erik Lamela.

Harry Kane injured his ankle in the first half of Tottenham’s game at Bournemouth. (Getty)

Tottenham scored a minute later through Dele Alli, and was tied 1-1 with Bournemouth at halftime.

But not even three points would assuage the long-term concern. Kane’s all-around ability, from his goal-scoring to his contributions earlier in attacking sequences, is irreplaceable at both club and international levels.

Spurs are in a strong position to qualify for the Champions League, but far from a secure one. And it would be a shame for Kane, one of the best strikers in the world, to have to wait until age 29 to compete in his first World Cup.

There are no early indications as to the severity of Kane’s ailment, but the Englishman missed time last season with two separate ankle injuries. That compounds the worry.

More to come as more information on Kane’s injury becomes available.

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at henrydbushnell@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.