||ESPNsoccernet: World Cup
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
South Korea striker Lee suffers World Cup blow
SEOUL, April 11 (Reuters) - South Korea striker Lee Dong-gook could miss the World Cup finals after tearing knee ligaments, the Korea Football Association (KFA) said on Tuesday.
It would be a shattering blow to Lee, who was omitted from
South Korea's World Cup squad four years ago by former coach
'Lee Dong-gook tore his right cruciate ligament during a
K-League match on April 5,' KFA medical chief Yoon Young-seol
'It's a serious injury to his right knee but Lee is
determined to play at the World Cup and wants to follow a course
of strengthening exercises instead of surgery, which would
definitely rule him out.'
South Korea reached the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup as
co-hosts with Japan, but Lee has become a permanent fixture
since Hiddink's subsequent departure.
Lee, who won the first of his 55 caps in 1998, scored some
crucial goals during South Korea's Asian World Cup qualifiers
and is a favourite of current national team coach Dick Advocaat.