Son Heung-Min’s hopes of playing at the World Cup later this month are in doubt after Tottenham confirmed the South Korean star will need surgery on a fracture around his left eye.
The 30-year-old suffered the injury during Tottenham’s Champions League win against Marseille on Tuesday and now faces a race to be fit for Qatar 2022 which starts on November 20.
Son was caught in the face when challenging for a header with Chancel Mbemba and was treated on the pitch during a lengthy delay to the game.
He was then helped off the pitch by the club’s medical staff but looked very disoriented as he did so.
Tottenham went on to win the game 2-1 to secure top spot in the group and progression into the knockout stages of the competition.
“We can confirm that Heung-Min Son will undergo surgery to stabilise a fracture around his left eye,” Tottenham said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Following surgery, Son will commence rehabilitation with our medical staff and we shall update supporters further in due course.”
Race to Qatar 2022
The club stopped short of giving a time frame for Son’s return but there is precedent for players returning from such an injury within three weeks.
Kevin De Bruyne suffered a fractured eye while playing for Manchester City in the 2021 Champions League final and was back playing for Belgium at the European Championships within 21 days.
South Korea begins its World Cup campaign against Uruguay on November 24 and will be desperate for its captain and best player to be fit in time.
A host of other stars are also racing to be fit for the tournament in Qatar.
England’s Ben Chilwell limped off the pitch with an apparent hamstring injury during Chelsea’s Champions League win against Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday but the extent of the damage is not yet clear.
It comes shortly after Paul Pogba’s agent confirmed he would miss the tournament through injury.
The midfielder’s France teammate Raphael Varane is also a doubt after limping off in tears during Manchester United’s draw against Chelsea last month.