A medical expert claims question marks remain over Son Heung-min’s participation in the World Cup despite the Tottenham striker being named in South Korea’s squad for Qatar.
Son recently underwent surgery on the fractured cheekbone he suffered in the Champions League win at Marseille that saw Spurs finish top of their group and book a date with AC Milan in the last 16.
The injury has so forced Son to miss Tottenham games against Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, while he will not feature in Saturday’s visit of Leeds before the World Cup break kicks in.
The 30-year-old revealed on November 9 that there was no way he was missing the showpiece event.
However, medical expert Ben Dinnery has some doubts about how soon Son will be back.
“In terms of the South Korean football association, the party line was ‘We’ve heard from Spurs and the surgery was a success’, Dinnery told Football Insider.
“Initially the federation were going to release a statement after that surgery to say whether Son was going to be in the World Cup or not. They decided against that.
“I saw the interview with Antonio Conte and what stuck out to me was that in his own mind he was confident Son would be fit. But he also referenced the fact Son was really down and had taken the injury quite hard.
“For me, if the surgery has been a success and the surgeon is telling you you’ll be fine and going to the World Cup it’s a win-win situation.
“They seem a little bit guarded. Maybe I’m reading too much into it.
De Bruyne a good reference point
“It’s never like-for-like but in terms of reference points, Kevin De Bruyne ahead of the Euros in 2021 suffered a similar injury that required surgery and he was back playing without a face mask and scoring for Belgium after 19 days. There’s your marker there.
“It comes down to the individual and the type of fracture which will determine whether Heung-min Son is available or not. And whether he needs a protective mask or not. We will see.
“You remain optimistic and hopeful but there are no guarantees at this stage which is why the Korean FA are being a little bit guarded in regards to the information they are choosing to release at this point.”
Tottenham head into the final before the World Cup in desperate need of three points to bolster this top-four hopes.
Defeat to Liverpool saw them drop out of third place at the expense of in-form Newcastle.