The fitness of Son Heung-min has dominated the agenda in South Korea over the past three weeks and his availability for their World Cup opener against Uruguay remains in the balance.
The Tottenham striker suffered a fractured eye socket in the Champions League clash with Marseille on November 1 – an injury that has kept a nation on tenterhooks ever since.
He has worn a mask in training since undergoing surgery and was pictured heading the ball for the first time in training on Monday. Coach Paulo Bento has been happy to keep fans guessing, placing a gagging order on the Koreans discussing Son’s injury with the media.
In the unlikely event he doesn’t make it, it will create a headache for Bento given the strength of Korea’s other attacking options.
Hwang Hee-chan has yet to score in 11 appearances for Premier League strugglers Wolves this season while Hwang Ui-jo has fared similarly at Greek side Olympiacos.
While Korea fret over the status of their experienced striker, Uruguay can count on at least one of theirs.
Although Edinson Cavani may miss out due to an ankle injury, Luis Suarez is fit and raring to go in what will be his final World Cup.