Banged-up defender Kim Min-jae held out of training session

DOHA– Hobbled by a calf injury, South Korean center back Kim Min-jae missed the team’s training session on Wednesday, two days prior to their must-win group stage match against Portugal.

A national team official said Kim stayed back in the team hotel to rest and undergo treatment, while the rest of the 26-man squad worked out at Al Egla Training Site in Doha.
Kim sustained his right calf injury during South Korea’s goalless draw with Uruguay in their first Group H match last Thursday. He missed two days of training sessions afterward, but still started the team’s second match against Ghana, which ended in a 3-2 loss. Kim was subbed out during second-half stoppage time.

Kim played the second match with his injured calf taped and looked to be in some discomfort in the final moments of the match.

Head coach Paulo Bento said Tuesday that he would keep an eye on Kim and make lineup decisions at the last possible moment. Bento praised Kim for his commitment and sacrifices for the team, and also ruled out any possibility that he would use a back-three formation, instead of the usual back-four setup, if Kim can’t play Friday.

South Korea must beat Portugal in that match and then get help from the other Group H match of the day, between Uruguay and Ghana.

Both matches will kick off at 6 p.m. Friday in Qatar, or midnight Saturday in South Korea.

Source: Yonhap News Agency