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 for a fracture around his left eye .
The 30-year-old was injured in Tottenham’s Champions League win over Marseille on Tuesday and now faces a race to be fit for Qatar 2022 which begins on November 20.
Son was caught in the face during a challenge for a header with Chancel Mbemba and was treated on the pitch during a long delay in the match.
He was then helped off the pitch by club medical staff, but appeared very disoriented.
Tottenham went on to win the match 2-1 to secure top spot in the group and advance to the knockout stages of the competition.
“We can confirm that Heung-Min Son will undergo surgery to stabilize a fracture around his left eye,” Tottenham said in a statement on Wednesday.
“After the operation, Son will begin his rehabilitation with our medical staff and we will update the supporters in due course.”
The club stopped short of giving a deadline for Son’s return, but there is precedent for players returning from such an injury within three weeks.
Kevin De Bruyne fractured his eye while playing for Manchester City in the 2021 Champions League final and was back for Belgium at the European Championships within 21 days.
South Korea begin their World Cup campaign against Uruguay on November 24 and will be desperate to get their captain and best player fit in time.
A host of other stars are also in the running to be fit for the tournament in Qatar.
England’s Ben Chilwell limped off the pitch with an apparent hamstring injury in Chelsea’s Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday, but the extent of the damage is still unclear.
It comes shortly after Paul Pogba’s agent confirmed he will miss the tournament through injury.
Midfielder’s French team-mate Raphael Varane is also a doubt after limping off in tears during Manchester United’s draw with Chelsea last month.