September 14, 2021 10:47
Hwang Ui-jo of FC Girondins de Bordeaux suffered an injury in a home match against RC Lens in France's Ligue 1 on Sunday.
He is only the latest among several Korean national team members who have been sidelined due to injury, adding to the team's concerns as the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is under way.
Nam Tae-hee of Al-Duhail SC, Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur and Kwon Chang-hoon of Suwon Samsung are all currently injured.
Hwang dropped to the ground due to a cramp in his right calf at about the 55th minute and again eight minutes later, feeling pain in his inner thigh. He then left the pitch, walking uneasily.
Bordeaux lost 3-2.
Hwang participated in the football competition at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in July as a wild-card player and played in three league matches in France in August. He then returned to Korea for the World Cup qualifiers and played a full match against Iraq on Sept. 2 and in the second half in a match against Lebanon on Sept. 7.
Bordeaux manager Vladimir Petković said Hwang suffered a cramp due to fatigue and was not seriously injured.
Nonetheless, the series of injuries sustained by key players poses a big headache for the Korean national team, which needs to prepare for its third and fourth World Cup qualifiers next month.
Korea, which is currently ranked second in its group with four points from one win and one draw, will face Syria in Seoul on Oct. 7 before taking on Iran in Teheran on Oct. 12.
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