South Korea's prospects of qualifying for the 2018 Russian World Cup have been dealt a major blow as their captain and Swansea midfielder Ki Sung-yueng will miss their remaining two World Cup qualifying matches.
Chosun Media English reported that Swansea boss Paul Clement said the Korean midfielder needs three month of rehabilitation following a knee surgery in July.
South Korea face Iran on August 31st and their last World Cup qualifier is against Uzbekistan on the 5th of September. The Koreans desperately need a victory to put their campaign back on the track following a shock loss to Qatar in June.
The midfielder has featured for the Swans 115 times and scored 10 goals since he signed for the club in 2012. He has also had a loan spell at Sunderland, where he played 27 times for the Black Cats in 2013/14.
Ki's versatility on the pitch has seen him play in various positions for his national side, including as a centre-forward and a defensive midfielder. He is set to return to fitness in mid-September, but by then South Korea's remaining two qualifiers will have been played.
A loss to Iran, who have already qualified for the World Cup in Russia, will put the Korean hopes of qualifying for a ninth straight World Cup in serious jeopardy.