South Korea forward Son Heung-min’s World Cup participation could be in doubt as he will undergo surgery on a facial fracture, his club Tottenham Hotspur said on Wednesday.
Son, 30, was injured midway through the first half of Tottenham’s Champions League tie at Olympique de Marseille following an aerial clash with Chancel Mbemba.
He required lengthy treatment on the pitch before being substituted and walking unsteadily down the tunnel.
“We can confirm that Heung-Min Son will undergo surgery to stabilise a fracture around his left eye,” Tottenham said on their website.
“Following surgery, Son will commence rehabilitation with our medical staff.”
South Korea’s hopes at the World Cup, which begins in less than three weeks, rest heavily on Son who has scored 35 goals in 104 appearances for his country. South Korea are in Group H with Portugal, Ghana and Uruguay.
Tottenham did not say how long Son is likely to be out of action but his injury is a big blow to Antonio Conte’s thirdplaced side who face Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.
England might have lost another full back to injury ahead of the World Cup after Ben Chilwell hurt his hamstring playing for Chelsea in the Champions League.
Chilwell, who was likely fighting for the left-back spot with Luke Shaw, covered his face with his hands as he lay on the ground after pulling up near the end of Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge.
A few minutes later, as he was being helped off the field by two people, Chilwell appeared to say “it popped” to Chelsea and England teammate Mason Mount, who threw his head back in dismay.
Japan defender Yuta Nakayama will miss the World Cup after being ruled out for the rest of the season due to an Achilles injury, his English club Huddersfield Town said. Nakayama was named in Hajime Moriyasu’s 26-man squad on Tuesday.
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