South Korea captain Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham) is always up for a fight. He is not at his best after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia, but he is determined to take the field.
Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korean national soccer team is set to play two consecutive A matches in June. They will face Peru (FIFA ranked 21st) on June 16 at 8 p.m. at the Busan Asiad Stadium. They will then face El Salvador (ranked 75th in FIFA) on June 20 at 8 p.m. at Daejeon World Cup Stadium.
Klinsmann’s squad was called up on Dec. 12 at Gudeok Stadium in Busan. On the 13th, according to Newsis and News1, the players were divided into two groups, European and domestic, for their first training session in a cheerful atmosphere. The domestic players, who had just played a K League game, focused on recovery training, while Son Heung-min and others lightly warmed up by running and stretching.
There was also some unexpected news. Son Heung-min surprised fans by revealing that he is recovering from a recent hernia surgery. “Son Heung-min had hernia surgery two weeks ago and has recovered well,” Newsis quoted a Korean Football Association (KFA) official as saying. On this day, Son Heung-min only trained lightly in the aftermath of the surgery. He reassured fans that he was focused on training while maintaining his trademark bright smile.
Sports hernias are common among athletes who play sports with their backs bent, such as soccer, basketball, and tennis. It happens when the intestines are pushed out of place and into a weak area of the abdominal wall. In case of surgery, it”s necessary to take a lot of rest. However, Son Heung-min reportedly showed a strong will to play. “It’s been two weeks since the surgery, but recovery varies from person to person,” said a KFA official, “and in Son Heung-min’s case, he wants to play.”
As such, Son has always maintained an attitude of fulfilling his responsibilities as a national team captain. Last year, about three weeks before the 토토사이트 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Son suffered an orbital fracture that caused his facial bones to collapse, but he played in all of the pre-World Cup matches wearing a protective mask after surgery. Despite being told by the medical team that he would need two months of rest and recovery, Son said, “If there is even a 1% chance, I want to play for my country. The World Cup is a stage that many children and soccer players dream of. I’ve been dreaming about it too,” he said, risking his health to play all three group games and the round of 16.
It will be up to Klinsmann, his coaching staff, and the national team’s medical staff to decide on the day of the match. It’s likely that Heung-min will want to play as badly as he did at the last World Cup, so he’ll give the fans something to cheer about. However, there are those who believe that Son shouldn’t push himself too hard in these two friendlies, as he has the upcoming 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar and next season ahead of him.