Son Heung-min has declared he will be part of South Korea’s World Cup squad but Sadio Mané’s presence in Qatar is in doubt after Bayern Munich said the Senegal forward had sustained an injury to his right fibula.
Son sustained a fracture around his left eye during Tottenham’s game at Marseille last week and had surgery on Friday. The Spurs manager, Antonio Conte, said on Sunday he expected the 30-year-old to be fit for the World Cup and Son provided an update on Instagram on Wednesday.
After saying he had “received a lot of strength” from messages of support, he wrote: “Playing for your country at the World Cup is the dream of so many children growing up, just as it was one of mine too. I won’t miss this for the world. I can’t wait to represent our beautiful country.”
Son posted a message in Korean and one below in English and a section not translated into English raised the possibility that although he would be in the squad and fitted with a mask, it was not certain he would play. His status with South Korea is such that he will be part of the squad even if there is a doubt over his availability.
“When I think of the masks you’ve been patiently wearing for over two years, my mask that I’ll be wearing at the World Cup matches is nothing,” he wrote. “If there is only 1% chance, I will look at that possibility.”
Mané is similarly important to Senegal. Bayern did not specify how serious his injury could be but said he would not be available to face Schalke on Saturday. Mané was substituted against Werder Bremen on Tuesday and the initial word from the assistant coach Dino Toppmöller was that it was “nothing too serious and his participation in the World Cup should not be in jeopardy”.
But far less positive reports emerged on Wednesday, including that he was out of the World Cup, before Bayern said in a statement: “Further examinations will follow in the coming days. FC Bayern is also in contact with the medical staff of the Senegalese Football Association.”