That Son Heung-min was called up on Monday for South Korea's two international matches in November isn't a surprise at all. Whether he'll be in the proper mindset for them is another matter.
Son, forward for Tottenham Hotspur, was inconsolable after being sent off for his late tackle on Everton midfielder Andre Gomes during their Premier League contest in Liverpool on Sunday.
Gomes was later diagnosed with a broken right ankle, and Son, according to his Tottenham teammates, was crying so much he could barely pick his head up in the locker room.
Son will have a few days to regroup mentally before South Korea travel to Beirut to play Lebanon in a World Cup qualifying match on Nov. 14, and then face Brazil in a friendly match in Abu Dhabi five days later.
South Korea head coach Paulo Bento was aware of the incident and said the Son he knows would never have tackled Gomes with any ill intentions whatsoever.
Bento, who hails from Portugal, also wished a fast and full recovery for his countryman Gomes.
"What happened in that match is really unfortunate," Bento said. "It doesn't matter which country a player is from. You never want to see anyone get hurt that seriously. But it's also part of the game. Heung-min has to pick things up and move forward, and we'll try to help him the best we can."
Bento said he will speak with Son about the incident once he reports to the national team but added he doesn't have any plans to hold him out of matches just so he can mentally recover.
"I am sure he's going through a hard time, after seeing a fellow player get hurt," Bento said. "But he has to keep moving forward, take part in training and play in matches." (Yonhap)