Hwang Hee-chan is out of today’s game against Uruguay for South Korea, but the issue is apparently ‘not too serious’.
The 26-year-old Wolves attacker won’t feature today at the World Cup, with South Korea looking to continue the trend of upsets so far at the tournament.
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia recorded a shock 2-1 win over Argentina.
And then yesterday, Japan beat Germany by the same scoreline.
Korea are the underdogs heading into the game against Uruguay and while a win for them wouldn’t be quite as surprising, it would still be a big story.
But Korea will have to try and do that without Hwang, with head coach Paulo Bento saying yesterday that he is not available through injury.
It is a big blow for Korea, with Hwang still one of their best players despite his poor club form. Hwang has not scored in 29 games this calendar year.
It is hamstring issue that is keeping him out, and Korean journalist Sungmo Lee has provided a bit more information about the situation.
He said, prior to Bento’s comments (via The Athletic): “The bigger concern now is Hwang. He was excluded from Wolves’ game against Arsenal on November 13 and Wolves told me it was a precaution as he felt a bit of discomfort in his hamstring.
“Hwang said it was not too serious. But he couldn’t join the team training until Wednesday, only having individual training. It doesn’t look promising for him and many Korean media worry he may not be able to start tomorrow.”
Hwang will be hoping to participate in Korea’s second group stage match, which is against Ghana on Monday.
Good news as journalist reveals Wolves star Hwang has said his injury is not serious
Hopefully, Hwang will be available for Korea’s two other group stage games against Ghana and Portugal.
It is not ideal that he’s out of this game against Uruguay, but it sounds as though he’ll perhaps get his chance next week onwards.
Hwang could do with impressing with his country in Qatar, even if he now only plays two games.
Julen Loeptegui will probably be watching from afar, and it’s important for someone like him – who is on the fringes at Molineux at the moment – to make a statement.
He’s one of Korea’s stars, and they need him and Heung-min Son bang at it if they are to get out of their group.