Bad news for Rafa Benitez on Ki Sung-yeung
News on Sunday night that Ki Sung-yeung is on his way back to Tyneside.
However, it isn’t good news for Rafa Benitez, as the Newcastle midfielder has now been ruled out of the entire Asian Cup.
He was forced off in the first group game (1-0 win over Philippines) with a hamstring injury.
However, after having to sit out the 1-0 victory over Kyrgyzstan on 11 January that confirmed South Korea’s progress to the last 16, Ki Sung-yeung said:
“It (recovery) is going better than I expected.
“I think that I can start running soon.
“We are already through to the knockout stage, so I don’t have to rush myself.
“My focus is on returning for the round of 16.”
South Korea beat China 2-0 on Wednesday with Ki yet again sitting it out but with a last 16 match on Tuesday against Bahrain coming up, Sunday has seen a number of media, including Four Four Two, confirm that the Asian Cup is over for the Newcastle player. Many in the media also assuming that this means the end of the player’s international career, as he had indicated that this could be his last tournament.
South Korea were one of the strong favourites and with the final not until Friday 1 February, with South Korea already admitting defeat on the player’s availability, it doesn’t suggest the midfielder will be available any time soon for Rafa Benitez.
With Isaac Hayden still desperate to leave Newcastle and Shelvey & Diame both missing once again on Saturday for the Cardiff match, the last thing Rafa Benitez needed was this latest injury blow for a midfielder.
Meanwhile, Japan and Yoshinori Muto face Saudi Arabia on Monday for a place in the last eight.
Asian Cup matches/schedule for South Korea (Ki Sung-yeung) and Japan (Yoshinori Muto):
Monday 7 January
South Korea 1 Philippines 0
Wednesday 9 January
Japan 3 Turkmenistan 2
Friday 11 January
South Korea 1 Kyrgyzstan 0
Sunday 13 January
Japan 1 Oman 0
Wednesday 16 January
South Korea 2 China 0
Thursday 17 January
Japan 2 Ukbekisatan 1
Last 16 Matches:
Monday 21 January
Japan v Saudi Arabia
Tuesday 22 January
South Korea v Bahrain
Quarter finals are 24 and 25 January
Semi finals 28 and 29 January
Final is 1 February
Newcastle United upcoming matches:
Saturday 26 January 2019 (weekend of)
Newcastle v Watford (FA Cup)
Tuesday 29 January 2019 (BT Sport)
Newcastle v Man City (8pm)
Saturday 2 February 2019 (Sky Sports)
Tottenham v Newcastle (12.30pm)
Monday 11 February 2019 (Sky Sports)
Wolves v Newcastle (8pm)
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