World Cup appearance for South Korea’s Son and Belgium’s Lukaku in doubt

South Korea’s captain Son Heung-min will need surgery to stabilise a fracture around his left eye, putting his participation in the World Cup in doubt.

The Tottenham Hotspur forward suffered the injury during his team’s 2-1 win against Marseille in the Champions League on Tuesday.

When competing for the ball, the South Korean international sustained a blow to his face from Chancel Mbemba’s shoulder, leaving the pitch in the first half.

Tottenham spoke briefly about Son’s status, confirming the footballer will need surgery for the fracture but left out details on a return for the star.

“Following surgery, Son will commence rehabilitation with our medical staff, and we shall update supporters further in due course,” ” said a Spurs statement.

Assistant head coach Cristian Stellini spoke after the game, noting that Son celebrated with the team over the win.

“Sonny feels better now. I saw him in the dressing room. He celebrated with us,” said Stellini.

With South Korea set to play their first game on November 24 against Uruguay, Son will be a crucial player for his team to defeat the South Americans.

Son captained the team for the road to Qatar, scoring seven goals in 13 games in qualifications.

Dubbed one of the greatest South Korean footballers to have played at an elite level, Son has nailed six goals total in his two World Cup participations.

Since making his first senior appearance for South Korea in December 2010, the 30-year-old has scored 35 goals in 104 appearances for his country.

Rocky Lukaku

Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku has sustained another hamstring injury, Inter Milan confirmed on Monday.

A first-choice striker for Belgium, Lukaku’s latest injury has been headlined as a setback and not a rule-out after medical tests reevaluated the 29-year-old.

“It is not yet a line through the issue, but it is a setback for the player himself, his club, and the Red Devils [Belgium national team],” said team doctor Kristof Sas.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez says the absence of Lukaku would
be “irreplaceable” and force the team to change tactics.

“At the Red Devils, he is irreplaceable. Every national team has irreplaceable players. Look at Argentina with Messi, Croatia with Modric, Brozovic and Kovacic, Spain and Germany also have such players. That’s just how it works,” Martinez voiced.

The Inter striker is the highest goalscorer for his country since making his national team debut in 2010.

The prolific attacker has scored 68 goals for the Belgians, with five hitting the net during the 2010, 2014, and 2018 World Cup.

Lukaku was the first player since Argentina’s late great Diego Maradona to score two goals or more in consecutive World Cup matches.

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