All three injured members of the South Korean World Cup squad have recovered from their ailments and are ready to engage in full practices, the national team physician said Friday.
Forwards Park Chu-young and Koo Ja-cheol, and midfielder Ki Sung-yueng are all healthy now, physician Song Jun-sub said, as the rest of the 23-man squad are prepping for the summer’s big tournament in Brazil at the National Football Center (NFC) in Paju, Gyeonggi Province.
Park came down with inflammation on his right foot and returned from his English club Watford to South Korea on April 4, before the end of his club season, to speed up his recovery. Song treated Park’s injury and the player also went through a rehab program at the NFC with the help of the national team’s physical trainer, Seigo Ikeda.
“Park has fully recovered from his injury,” Song said. “He is pain free.”
Park’s health has been subject of great interest. He leads the team with 24 international goals in 62 matches, and he will be counted on to revive South Korea’s stagnant offense when it faces Russia, Algeria and Belgium in Group H.
Ki, a midfielder for Sunderland, also returned home early before his Premier League season ended so he could treat his knee tendinitis. Ki wasn’t able to run for three weeks before arriving in South Korea, but he too went through rehab at the NFC and received regular injections to strengthen his ligaments.
On Thursday, Ki, the team’s designated kicker on set pieces, practiced corner kicks with coaches at the NFC.
“Ki should have no trouble attending practice,” Song said. “He’s had a fast recovery.”
Koo missed the penultimate game of the Bundesliga season for FSV Mainz 05 on May 3 after tweaking his back during practice, but played 83 minutes in the finale the following week and set up a goal in the team’s 3-2 win over Hamburger SV. Koo has reported no trouble since joining the South Korean camp on Tuesday.
“I don’t think there will be any injury when tactical drills get into full swing next Monday,” Song observed. (Yonhap)