Published : 2013-08-29 19:27
Updated : 2013-08-29 19:27
National soccer team defensive back Hong Jeong-ho injured his back in a recent domestic league match and may miss South Korea’s upcoming friendlies, officials said Thursday.
Early in the second half of a K League Classic contest against Busan I’Park Wednesday night in Busan, 450 kilometers southwest of Seoul, the Jeju United defender injured his back while competing for a loose ball in the air. He was subsequently taken out of the match.
Jeju team officials said Hong appeared to have suffered a bone bruise and he will travel to the club’s home, Jeju, to undergo further tests on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Hong was selected to represent South Korea against Haiti on Sept. 6 and against Croatia on Sept. 10, both at home.
“We have to keep an eye on his back for now,” said Kim Jang-yeol, a rehab trainer for Jeju United. “It may not lead to any extended absence, but we have to wait and see if he’ll be available for the national team.”
Hong was already banged up before the Busan match, having suffered a bruise to his right calf last Saturday against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
The defensive stalwart, known for his tenacious and physical play, has so far started in three of four international matches under head coach Hong Myung-bo, who took over the national team in June.
Later on Thursday, Jeju United announced that Hong left for Germany earlier in the day to finalize his transfer to FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga. A team official said Hong plans to return to South Korea before the national team opens its training camp next Monday, as long as he’s deemed healthy enough to play. (Yonhap News)