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Park Chu-young out of Asian Cup due to knee injury

Posted December. 28, 2010 01:22,   


National soccer striker Park Chu-young will miss next month’s Asian Cup with a knee injury.

Park has been diagnosed with inflammation of cartilage on his right knee thigh and will require treatment for at least four weeks.

His attending physician said, “Park had suffered small injuries repeatedly on his right knee, but he recently strained his body by moving back and forth from his pro team (AS Monaco) to the Korean national team. Hence, he was inevitably vulnerable to injury.”

“Hard frozen ground in winter also helped aggravate his injury as well. Imagine a situation where he played on concrete wearing spikes.”

The doctor denied that Park’s goal ceremony of kneeling in prayer helped cause his injury, a rumor which surfaced after the player suffered the injury. “The ceremony of kneeling down is common among players, even if they have no religious beliefs,” he said.

“It is at least safer compared to the somersault celebrations of Luis Nani (Manchester United) and Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich),” he said. “A kneeling ceremony is not problematic in itself, but Park was unlucky because his teammates piled up on him the moment he tried to stand up.”

Park’s exclusion from Korea’s roster for the Asian Cup has coach Cho Kwang-rae agonizing over a new offensive strategy for his squad.

Given Cho’s preference for placing a lone striker in the front, Ji Dong-won (19, Chunnam Dragons) is the leading candidate to replace Park. Yoo Byung-soo (22, Incheon United), the top scorer in the K-League, is a potential alternative.

Lee Chung-yong (22, Bolton) has been effectively chosen as right-side striker, but who will take the left and center posts remains uncertain.

If team captain Park Ji-sung (29, Manchester United) plays his original position on the left flank, chances are high that Kim Bo-kyung (21, Oita Trinita) or Ji will man the center. If Park Ji-sung moves to the center, Yeom Ki-hun (27, Suwon Samsung) or Son Heung-min (18, Hamburg SV) will assume the left side.

Depending on the opponent, however, the coach could choose to employ Ji and Yoo as a forward tandem in the front.