It appears that Lee Kang-in is not yet fit enough to play.
PSG announced its roster for the 2023-24 French Ligue 1 fifth-round match against OGC Nice at 4 a.m. on Saturday (Nov. 15) on its official website.
A total of 20 players were included in the roster, but Lee Kang-in’s name was nowhere to be found. It is believed that Lee has not fully recovered from his injury and is unlikely to play.
Lee’s injury was first revealed on the 22nd of last month. PSG announced on their website that “Lee Kang-jin suffered an injury to his left quadriceps. He will receive treatment until the end of the A-match period,” the club announced on its website. Lee has been working tirelessly since the end of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with a short break before the start of the second half of the 2022-23 season. He’s not an injury-prone player, and this is his second injury since joining PSG.
Thankfully, it’s not a major injury, but the accumulation of fatigue seems to have led to an unfortunate situation. The good news is that Lee has been able to rehabilitate quickly. PSG posted a photo of Lee on the 25th of last month, announcing that he had started his rehabilitation.
The rehab seemed to be going well. He was also featured in a PSG training video released on March 6. He posted a photo of himself on his personal social media account, writing “SOON” and hinting that he could be back soon.
The news that Lee is recovering quickly from his injury is good news for South Korea’s coach Hwang Sun-hong as he prepares for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. While PSG hadn’t been very positive about Lee’s departure, the longer he was delayed, the longer he was delayed from joining the Asian Games squad.
The news of Lee’s return to training came this week. “Unless (the injury) recurs, Lee will return to French Ligue 1 play after the A-match period,” France’s SPORT reported on Nov. 11. The good news came as PSG players returned to training after a three-day break. Lee has been out since August 22 with a left quadriceps injury. After returning from individual training, he has joined the squad and is making good progress towards his return.”
At the time of the injury news, it was thought that Lee would not return until mid-September at the earliest. At the time, French outlet Le Parisien wrote: “After suffering a quadriceps injury, Lee will be out until at least mid-September. Lee, who has started both of PSG’s Ligue 1 matches, will miss the games against Reims and Olympique Lyonnais. Depending on how the injury develops, he could also miss the UEFA Champions League (UCL).”
With Lee returning to training as quickly as expected, it looked like a decision on the timing of his departure from the Asian Games would be made soon. There was a bit of a delay. Originally, PSG was supposed to get back to us on the 13th local time on whether and when Lee would be called up. On the 13th, PSG’s response was vague.
Hwang Sun-hong, head coach of the Asian Games team, said on the 14th, “It’s frustrating. I am personally communicating with Lee Kang-in. He wants to join the team as soon as possible. However, the timing of his joining is not coordinated with PSG. The federation is in close communication with PSG. We hope that the timing will be decided soon so that he can focus on the team,” he said, adding that PSG’s cooperation is urgent.
Hwang added, “I haven’t received an official answer yet on when I will join the team. I’m frustrated about that. They said they would contact me on the 13th to see if my injury is fully recovered, but so far there has been no official response.”
It’s not an easy decision for PSG, as Lee is a very important resource for them. Still, for Hwang, Lee was indispensable. “I would have liked him to come in before one or two group games, but I don’t think that’s possible. I think PSG put a lot of conditions on him. I hope we can agree on something like the Asian Cup qualifiers in January,” he said, adding that he was looking forward to having Lee join the team as soon as possible.
In response to Hwang’s wishes, PSG dramatically changed its stance. The club had been refusing to let Lee go, even putting conditions on his release from the Asian Cup, but suddenly became more cooperative.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) said on the 15th, “As a result of discussions with Lee Kang-in’s club PSG, it was finally agreed on the night of the 14th that Lee Kang-in will join the Asian Games squad after the club’s home game against UCL Dortmund on the 19th local time in France. Accordingly, Lee will travel to Hangzhou, China on the 20th local time to join the Asian Games team,” the KFA officially announced.
The KFA continued, “After receiving an email from PSG on the 13th to allow Lee to participate in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, subject to the rescheduling of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, we held discussions with PSG until late on the night of the 14th. Finally, on the night of the 14th, we received an official response from PSG that allowed us to join the team for the 20th Asian Games without any other preconditions.” He also explained the background of the discussions with PSG.
After being uncooperative, PSG decided to send Lee to Hwangseon Hongho sooner than expected, giving the green light to the team to win their third consecutive Asian Games gold medal.
However, if Lee is unable to play against Nice, it is unclear if he will be able to play immediately after joining the Asian Games squad. He may be able to participate in team training, but he may not be 100 percent in terms of game sense or fitness.
One scenario Hwang could have envisioned was to use Lee Kang-in from the third group game against Bahrain on June 24. With Lee and the rest of his teammates having never played together before, it would have been best to secure a spot in the round of 16 before meeting Bahrain, and use Lee to try out new tactics without the pressure of experimentation.
However, if Lee Kang-in is still unavailable, it’s unclear if he’ll be able to start right away against Bahrain. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see. If Lee can play against Dortmund in midweek, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to start him against Bahrain.
However, the last thing we need is a recurrence of the injury. Lee hasn’t had a full rest since the second half of the 2022-23 season. He hasn”t had a full rest since the second half of the 2022-23 season. The Asian Games schedule is as tight as a Premier League (PL) Boxing Day. With a small pool of available players, there is no time for players to recover properly and they have to keep playing.
Even without Lee Kang-in, South Korea is far superior to Kuwait, Thailand, and Bahrain. They shouldn’t even have to worry about making it out of the group stage. Hwang Sun-hong’s goal is not to reach the round of 16, but to win three consecutive gold medals. The last thing they need is to rush Lee Kang-in and have him re-injure himself, which would be a huge blow to their gold medal hopes.메이저놀이터
It would also be the worst thing that could happen to Lee, who has just given up his bid for a starting spot at PSG. It won’t be easy, but Hwang Sun-hong has a very important mission: to bring home gold while taking care of Lee Kang-in’s body.