Ki Sung Yueng to sit out of AFC Cup due to injury

Yuyi Rin, Jan. 22, 2019, 10:22 a.m.

Ki Sung-yueng will miss the remainder of the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup due to injury. The quadrennial international tournament runs until early February in the UAE.

The loss of Ki is bad news for Korea, which is seeking its first title in 59 years.

Ki injured his hamstring and was replaced during Korea's first match against the Philippines on Jan. 7. He sat out the next two matches and focused on rehabilitation for 10 days. He had been expected to play against Bahrain in the group of 16 match on Tuesday.

But his recovery has been much slower than expected, although he resumed a warm-up training last Friday. Then just a day later, Ki experienced thigh pain again. A thorough checkup that evening revealed that he won't be able to recover before the tournament ends on Feb. 1.

Ki is now set to focus on rehabilitation after flying back to his club, Newcastle United in the U.K.

Ki's absence can be a big blow for Korea, which won all three of its group-stage matches. The midfielder has the most caps of any player on the Korean squad with 110, participating in all major competitions including three World Cups.

Ki posted "Thank GOD it's finally over" on his Instagram account on Sunday, leading to speculation that he will retire from international matches.

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