Son Heung-min will be able to play in South Korea’s World Cup opener against Uruguay on Thursday despite wearing a mask after facial surgery, Coach Paulo Bento said.
The Spurs attacker and South Korean skipper had surgery earlier this month after suffering fractures around his left eye in a collision during a Champions League match.
The 30-year-old has been training in Qatar in a mask and South Korean fans have been eagerly waiting on news of his availability.
“Son can play and will be able to play,” Bento told a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
The Portuguese coach added: “The fact he will be wearing a mask is not inconvenient for him, it is natural for him.
“We have stuck to the plan since we arrived here, also the way we integrated him into our group shows he has been natural.
“We will see tomorrow how it will be. Our hope is that he will feel comfortable as far as possible.”
But Bento cautioned: “He knows and we know that after this injury we cannot take any risks.”
Also in Group H are Ghana and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.