South Korea captain Son Heung-min said he is unsure if he can play in all their matches at the Qatar World Cup starting on Sunday after undergoing surgery this month to stabilise a fracture around his left eye.
Son was included in South Korea’s squad for the tournament despite suffering a fractured eye socket playing for Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League earlier this month.
The 30-year-old midfielder, who will wear a protective mask during South Korea’s matches in Qatar, had his first training session with the team in Doha on Wednesday.
“I’m not a doctor. It’s difficult for me to say when I can play,” Son, whose side begin their campaign in Group H against Uruguay on Nov. 24, told reporters.
“I’ll do the best I can under the circumstances. But it’s tough for me to say right now that I will play every game.
“From the fans’ perspective, I may be pushing this too far. But football players always compete under such risks. I just want to give our fans joy and hope. I’m more than willing to bear those risks.”
Son said he was getting used to playing with the mask on and that the swelling on his face had reduced.
“These carbon masks are really light and they likely won’t break,” Son said. “And if a mask breaks, it means something has happened to my face. So I hope it doesn’t come to that.”
South Korea, who will be making their 10th consecutive appearance at the World Cup finals, also take on Ghana and Portugal in their group.