With a vital World Cup qualifier just a week away, Korea Republic are concerned about what state of mind star player and captain Son Heung-min will be in when he reports for national team duty next Monday.
The 27 year-old hit the headlines around the world this week as his club Tottenham Hotspur drew 1-1 at Everton on Monday (AEST).
In the latter stages of the English Premier League clash at Goodison Park, Son fouled Everton midfielder Andre Gomes, a challenge that resulted in Portuguese star suffering a horrific ankle injury.
The visibly distressed Son was red carded for the challenge, leaving the field in tears. Club coach Mauricio Pochettino said that the player was 'devastated'.
Soon after, Son was selected for his country's November 14 Group H clash with Lebanon in Beirut. On paper it is the toughest game remaining for the Taeguk Warriors in the second round of qualification for the 2022 World Cup.
"It was a really unfortunate incident and I am sure that Son is going through a hard time, after seeing a fellow player get hurt," Korea coach Paulo Bento said, adding that there was no plan to rest the star.
"He has to keep moving forward, take part in training and play in matches. I will give him support to help him recover psychologically.”
While Son has often struggled to replicate club form for his country and does not always sport the same familiar smile while on national team duty, the Portuguese boss believes his compatriots can be a source of comfort for their captain.
“All of us will help Son overcome this,” said Bento.
“I am sure that Son had no malicious intent and I hope that every player involved in that situation recovers both mentally and physically. I’m more concerned about Gomes and I hope he recovers as soon as possible.”
The popular Son has received plenty of support both at home and in England and was boosted on Tuesday by the news that the English FA had decided to rescind the red card that he was shown.
The FA's statement read: "Heung-min Son will be available for Tottenham Hotspur FC's next three domestic fixtures after an independent Regulatory Commission upheld a claim of wrongful dismissal.”
Tottenham head coach Pochettino welcomed the news and said that Son, who has been offered counselling by the club, was improving.
“‘Sonny’ is ok and it is good for everyone that it was overturned, but most importantly it is fair,” he said.
“It is good that the FA have decided this. It’s good for him and good for the team. I was always confident.
“Sonny was devastated after Sunday but he is on good form now. After a few days, he is in a very good way.”
South Korea will hope so and Korea FA officials are keen to meet up with Son as soon as the international break begins to gauge his mood.
Five days after the Lebanon clash, South Korea take on Brazil in Abu Dhabi.