Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insists Harry Kane does not need an extended break but warned there may be nothing the top sides can do to avoid a repeat of injuries suffered by returning World Cup stars such as Kevin De Bruyne.
The Manchester City playmaker has been ruled out for three months with a knee injury and several Premier League bosses have voiced concerns over demands placed on stars.
Many Tottenham players competed in the latter stages in Russia, including Kane, Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Hugo Lloris and Mousa Dembele.
Kane endured a sluggish start in the win at Newcastle last weekend and his form tailed off towards the end of last season after his return from an ankle injury he suffered in March.
The striker has only had one full summer break in the past five years due to international commitments and his form in August has become an annual talking point. The striker is yet to score a Premier League goal in the month despite playing 14 games.
Looking ahead to today’s game at Wembley against Fulham, Pochettino said: ‘I am not going to take a risk. If we are worried that we would be taking a risk, be sure he is not going to play.
‘But we, as 25-30 people who are coaches, sport scientists, physios, talk a lot about fitness, health and everything. If we are wrong, we are 25-30 people wrong.’
Asked if the lack of pre-season makes it tough to avoid injuries, he said: ‘Of course it’s a big risk. The demands are massive. For Tottenham, City, United — the teams that had more players involved in semi-finals — it is a massive challenge.’