Son Heung-min's Leg Injury Causes Headaches for Korea's World Cup Campaign

  • By Song Won-hyung

    January 10, 2022 10:48

    Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur injured his leg in a match against Chelsea last week, complicating the Korean national team's qualifying campaign ahead of this year's FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

    Son started in the first of the two semi-final matches of the Carabao Cup on Jan. 6, and was replaced after playing 79 minutes.

    Son Heung-min

    Spurs coach Antonio Conte said, "It was a strange situation because against Chelsea I made two substitutions together, Lucas [Moura] and Son, but not for injury. Then the day after, [Son] felt a bit of pain in his muscle, in his leg, and he had a scan."

    "I don't know, but probably he will stay without training sessions until the end of this cycle, before the international break" in late January, he added.

    Son's absence creates problems not only for Tottenham, but also for Korea's national team. Korea, currently 33rd in the FIFA rankings, is scheduled to play two away Asian qualifiers for the World Cup -- against 95th-ranked Lebanon on Jan. 27 and 86th-ranked Syria on Feb. 1, and now faces the prospect of competing without Son.

    The match against Syria will be held in the UAE due to the ongoing civil war in Syria.

    Hwang Hee-chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers also injured his leg last month and is not expected to join the national squad until February.

    The Korean team led by coach Paulo Bento departed for Antalya, Turkey for training on Sunday.

    In Turkey, Korea will play friendlies against Iceland on Jan. 15 and against Moldova on Jan. 21, before heading to Lebanon on Jan. 25.

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