S. Korea confirms successful surgery for Son Heung-min; too early to determine World Cup status

November 7, 2022

The South Korean football governing body confirmed on Saturday the men’s national team captain Son Heung-min had undergone successful surgery on fractures around his left eye, though it wasn’t yet ready to determine the forward’s availability for the FIFA World Cup less than three weeks away.

Son, the reigning Premier League Golden Boot winner for Tottenham Hotspur, sustained the injury during a UEFA Champions League match at Marseille on Tuesday.

“We’ve been informed by Tottenham that Son Heung-min had completed a successful procedure,” an official with the Korea Football Association (KFA) said. “But since the surgery just took place, it’s too early at this point to discuss his status for the World Cup. The national team’s medical staff has remained in contact with Tottenham regarding Son’s injury.”

Hours earlier, the Telegraph in London reported that Son’s medical team felt “the procedure went as well as could be hoped and the outlook is positive.”

Son headed into the right shoulder of Marseille defender Chancel Mbemba in an aerial duel, and Son’s left eye was almost swollen shut after the collision and his nose bled.

Without the benefit of seeing imaging scans, doctors in South Korea have speculated that an orbital fracture could keep Son sidelined anywhere between four and eight weeks.

Son, easily the best player for South Korea, will now be in a race against time. South Korea’s first Group H match at the World Cup in Qatar is Nov. 24 against Uruguay, followed by No. 28 against Ghana and then Portugal on Dec. 2.