S. Korea confirm successful Son surgery but World Cup still in balance


South Korean superstar Son Heung-min has undergone a successful surgery following a facial injury, the country's football federation said Saturday, but declined to say if he will be ready for the World Cup in Qatar.

The Tottenham Hotspur forward sustained the nasty injury -- reportedly multiple fractures to his eye socket -- during a Champions League win over Marseille this week.

Worried South Korean fans have since been waiting nervously for updates on Son's condition, fearing their World Cup would be ruined without the talismanic national captain.

"We've been informed by Spurs that the surgery went well and was successful," a Korea Football Association (KFA) official told AFP.

"We think it's not the time to talk about Son's status for the World Cup. We are not saying it's impossible, we are just saying now is not the time to discuss."

Son's World Cup fate dominated the sports pages of South Korean newspapers on Friday, including one that featured a detailed diagram of a human skull to show where he was injured.

South Korea will begin their campaign in Qatar against Uruguay on November 24, also facing Ghana and Portugal in Group H.

Son, who shared last season's Premier League golden boot with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, has a huge fan base in South Korea.

He is considered critical to South Korea's chances of making it to the knockout stages at the World Cup, having scored 35 goals in 104 internationals -- including nine in his last 14.

Though he is yet to lift a trophy at club level, he led South Korea to gold at the 2018 Asian Games.



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