Tottenham’s Son Heung-min leaves Champions League match early after collision

SEOUL– Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur was forced to leave his club’s latest UEFA Champions League match early following a collision with an opposing defender.

Son was subbed out in the 29th minute of Spurs’ Group D match against Marseille at Stade de Marseille in France on Tuesday (local time), a few minutes after his face hit the shoulder of defender Chancel Mbemba in an aerial battle.

Son stayed down on the pitch in obvious pain and walked off with the help of team trainers, with the area around his left eye swollen and his nose bleeding.
The severity of Son’s injury wasn’t immediately clear, with Tottenham prevailing 2-1 to win their group and advance to the knockout stage.

Cristian Stellini, an assistant coach for Tottenham who spoke to the media afterward with his boss Antonio Conte serving a suspension, said Son “felt better in the dressing room after the game” and celebrated the victory with his teammates.

“We have to check on him tomorrow,” Stellini said. “We’re not sure if it is concussion yet. It was an injury to his face. His eye is swollen.”

Per concussion protocols set by the Football Association in England, a player diagnosed with a concussion must sit out for at least six days after suffering the injury.

Any type of injury to Son will be a massive blow to South Korea at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Son is the longtime captain and South Korea’s most dangerous offensive player, and his absence will dampen any chance of a trip to the last 16 for the Taeguk Warriors.

The big tournament kicks off Nov. 20, and South Korea’s first Group H match against Uruguay is Nov. 24.

Members of South Korea’s training squad wished Son a quick recovery Wednesday, hours after learning of their captain’s injury.

“He is an indispensable player for the national team. We will absolutely need him at the World Cup,” forward Oh Hyeon-gyu said before a training session at the National Football Center in Paju, north of Seoul. “I’d love to play alongside him at the World Cup.”

Defender Cho Yu-min, who won the 2018 Asian Games gold medal with Son, said he was quite worried about the star forward after watching Tottenham’s match live on television.

“He’s such an important player, and I am confident he will shake it all off and join us,” Cho said. “Everyone at camp here wishes him the best. We’re all hoping his injury isn’t too serious.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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