Son Heung-min has been included in South Korea’s 26-man squad for this month’s World Cup finals in Qatar despite suffering a fractured eye socket playing for Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League earlier this month.
Head coach Paulo Bento included Son in his squad after the 30-year-old declared himself fit to feature for the Koreans, who will be making their 10th consecutive appearance at the World Cup finals.
“We are in contact with him, with the Tottenham medical department, but about the exact time, the exact day he can train with the team we don’t have that information yet,” Bento told reporters after unveiling his squad on Saturday.
“So we need to wait, we need to analyse day-by-day his situation. We have time to decide and the most important is he recovers as well as possible, he feels comfortable and then we will take the final decision.”
Son, who underwent an operation to repair the injury, has said he would wear a protective mask to play in Qatar if required.
Bento said his selection of Mallorca playmaker Lee Kang-in was not intended as cover for Son should last season’s joint-leading scorer in the Premier League be unable to play.
South Korea will travel to the World Cup looking to qualify for the knockout rounds for the first time since 2010, when they were eliminated in the Round of 16 by Uruguay.
“Even competing with a high-level performance from our side we are going to feel many difficulties because on the other side are very good and strong teams,” said Bento.
The Koreans open their Group H campaign against Uruguay on Nov. 24 before facing Ghana on Nov. 28 and Portugal on Dec. 2.