Suwon Samsung Bluewings midfielder Yeom Ki-hun suffered a rib injury during yesterday’s AFC Champions League 1-0 defeat to Ulsan Hyundai and could miss the 2018 Fifa World Cup, reported Yonhap News.
The veteran South Korean footballer was brought down in a tackle by Ulsan’s Richard Windbichler in the 76th minute and was taken off the pitch on a stretcher.
According to his club, the 35-year-old midfielder was transferred to a hospital in Ulsan, where a medical examination showed that he had a right fourth rib fracture.
‘We confirmed that Yeom's rib on the right was fractured,’ declared the Suwon side.
This injury will leave Yeom unavailable for at least four weeks.
South Korea’s injury crisis
Yeom has scored five goals in 57 international matches for the Asian Tigers and, despite not being considered a starting member for the team, he is often tapped as a promising backup player.
His injury brings concerns to South Korea’s head coach Shin Tae-yong, who is set to announce his World Cup squad next Monday.
The co-hosts of the 2002 World Cup have already lost two key defenders, Kim Min-jae and Kim Jin-su, both because of injury.
BREAKING | Jeonbuk Hyundai defender Kim Min-jae has suffered cracked shinbone. He could miss 4~6 weeks. diagnose will come out tomorrow. Big blow for #2018WC🇰🇷(Sports Chosun) #kleague pic.twitter.com/eqVDhQeOGA— Korea Football News (@KORFootballNews) 2 May 2018
Jeonbuk Hyundai and South Korea international defender Kim Jin-su will be sidelined for at least six weeks due to right knee medial ligament injury. #kleague— Korea Football News (@KORFootballNews) 26 March 2018
Last week, Shin said that injured players and those showing a lack of form had been a headache for him ahead of the tournament in Russia.
South Korea shares the World Cup’s Group F with Germany, Sweden and Mexico.