South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng is set to make his comeback in the near future after completing his rehabilitation process, a source close to the player said Wednesday.
The source in Seoul said Ki is likely to make his return for Swansea City next week as he is now able to fully join the English Premier League club's training. The development raises hope for the national team preparing for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
"Ki has completed his rehab and has been participating in full training starting this week," said the source, who asked not to be named. "It will be difficult for him to feature in this weekend's match, but it is likely that he will try to be back in form by playing with reserve squads next week."
Ki had surgery on his right knee in June after South Korea's World Cup qualifier against Qatar in Doha, where the national team suffered a 3-2 loss. The former Celtic and Sunderland man previously said his surgery was not just about clearing the inflammation in his right knee, but also included tendon repair and necrotic tissue removal.
|In this file photo taken Aug. 25, 2017, South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng (L) trains at the National Football Center in Paju, north of Seoul. (Yonhap)|
Due to surgery, Ki missed Swansea's preseason campaign and has yet to play a match with the Welsh club this season. Swansea previously said they expected Ki to return in mid-September.
For South Korea, he was on the 26-man roster in their last two matches in the final Asian qualifying round for the 2018 World Cup but didn't play in either of them. He watched as South Korea qualified for their ninth consecutive World Cup under head coach Shin Tae-yong.
South Korea are scheduled to play two friendly matches next month for their preparations for the 2018 World Cup. The Taeguk Warriors will first face the 2018 World Cup hosts Russia on Oct. 7 and will take on Tunisia three days later.
South Korea hope Ki will be available for those two friendlies. Shin previously said he will pick players outside South Korea since domestic based players have their league commitments during that period.
"Ki previously joined the national team even though he was on rehab, and he really wants to play in friendlies next month," the source said. "Although he is not in top form because he has sat out for three months, he can now play in games."
Ki has been South Korea's orchestrator in midfield, distributing the ball and setting the tempo of the game. Ki has 10 goals in 93 international matches. (Yonhap)