Lee Kang-in (22, Paris Saint-Germain)스포츠토토 is committed to recovering from a thigh injury. He is expected to be out until at least the September A matches. He is expected to return to action at the Asian Games, but it will be after the tournament to ensure his natural fitness.

Paris Saint-Germain announced on the club’s official website, “Lee Kang-In has sustained an injury to his left quadriceps. He will continue his treatment until at least the end of the next A-match period.” Last time it was the right side, this time it’s the left.

Lee left Mallorca this summer to join Paris Saint-Germain. Paris Saint-Germain is the favorite to win the UEFA Champions League beyond the French Ligue 1. Until last season, the club had some of the best players in the world, including Lionel Messi and Neymar.

“It’s a team I’ve known since I was a kid,” he says of joining Paris Saint-Germain. Paris Saint-Germain is one of the best teams in the world. They have the best players in the world. I can’t wait to start my adventure with Paris Saint-Germain, I want to win every game and help them win as many titles as possible,” he said.

“I am a midfielder who can play right or left winger. I can play in different positions. He is comfortable on the ball. He has a great desire to win. I want to contribute to the team and help them win. I am honored to be the first Korean in the history of Paris Saint-Germain. I’m playing for Korea and I’m playing for Paris Saint-Germain. I will always do my best and show my best on the pitch,” he said.

After joining Paris Saint-Germain, Lee Kang-in trained with his teammates in a cheerful atmosphere. Neymar, who was also in the team’s training session, smiled at Lee and had fun with him. The rest of the players, including Mbappe, who had received additional rest after the A match, joined the team for a full-scale team training.

Neymar played in a preseason friendly against Le Havre (France) at PSG’s Paris campus. He led the team’s attack from the right wing and had a sharp performance, wearing the number 19 shirt. He was joined by Luca Hernandez, Marco Asensio, and Manuel Ugarte.

Paris Saint-Germain continued their attacking work through Lee Kang-In, and his passing was brilliant as he moved between the flanks and the center. He linked up well with the fullbacks on the flanks and exchanged fluid passes. His passing into space and pressing was as good as we saw in Mallorca.

However, he complained of hamstring pain just before halftime. Lee suddenly grabbed his thigh in the 43rd minute. He appeared to have overloaded it while sprinting during a Paris Saint-Germain counterattack and was uncomfortable and went to the bench.

Lee Kang-in ⓒYonhap

Lee Kang-in ⓒYonhap

Lee Kang-in ⓒYonhap

French media outlet L’Equipe Footmercato also reported, “Lee Kang-in is injured. Paris Saint-Germain freshman Lee Kang-in played very well against Le Havre, but ended up leaving the game early. He suffered a hamstring injury and left the field just before halftime. We now need to check his injury status.”

He did not participate in training for the Japan preseason tour. It is believed that he missed training as a precautionary measure to prevent further injury. In fact, he was on the bench alongside Neymar against Al Nasr, Cerezo Osaka, and Inter Milan and did not play.

He did play in a preseason game in Busan. “He’s definitely going to play,” Luis Enrique said. Although he didn’t start, he warmed up in the second half and came on as a substitute, playing lightly in the front line.

He then worked hard to recover from his injury and was fit for the opening game. He wasn’t 100% in the preseason due to injury, but he was a lightweight in the opener. In the 12th minute, he surprised the Paris Saint-Germain home fans with a sharp killer pass. He also attempted a daring shot, but was caught in the Lorient defense and failed to register an attacking point.

As a starter in the opener, he played 82 minutes on the field. He completed 86% of his passes and touched the ball 58 times. European soccer statisticians, including Footmob, gave Lee high marks and named him Man of the Match. He was the only bright spot in an otherwise stifling Paris Saint-Germain attack.

The Ligue 1 also gave Lee a thumbs up. In choosing him as their Man of the Match, they said, “Lee enjoyed the space that Lionel Messi was playing in brilliantly. The Paris Saint-Germain players would have been happy with his performance. Hamus, along with Asensio and others, played with the attacking support of Ighalo. He energized the Paris Saint-Germain attack with his wide-ranging influence. He deserves praise.”

In the second leg, Lee wasn’t in a position to fully showcase his strengths. He was deployed on the left flank, but in more of a wing-back role. He didn’t have much chemistry with Fabian Luis. Enrique opted for a tactical change at the start of the second half, bringing on Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele.

Lee Kang-in ⓒYonhap/AFP

Lee Kang-in ⓒYonhap/AFP

Lee Kang-in ⓒYonhap/AFP

His footwork was off and he was in an awkward position. French publication L’Equipe gave Lee a rating of 3. It was the only lowest rating among the starters. Fabien Louis was rated a 4. “He was very active,” said FootMercato. Showed speed on the counterattack. Shook the opposition with his fluid dribbling, but was substituted early when they needed a goal” and gave him a 5.5 rating. Football statistics company Footmob gave the game a 7, while Sofascore gave it a 6.8, and Futurescore.com gave it a 6.47.

Initially, it was reported that “he was injured in training after the Toulouse game”. However, a later version of the story said, “He was injured in Toulouse”. If he was injured in Toulouse, it was most likely due to the aforementioned overuse injury.

Paris Saint-Germain confirmed that the player will be out until at least the September A match. Local outlet Le Parisien predicted a recovery time of mid-September. Lee is expected to spend around four weeks trying to get back to full fitness.

Jürgen Klinsmann confirmed that Lee will miss the Asian Games. “I know that there is a clause in the Paris Saint-Germain contract that allows the club to call up players for the Asian Games. I don’t think there will be a problem,” Klinsmann said.

Lee Kang-in ⓒYonhap/AFP

Lee Kang-in ⓒYonhap/AFP

Lee Kang-in ⓒYonhap/AFP

Hwang Sun-hong, head coach of the Korean national soccer team at the Asian Games, is also centering his tactics around Lee Kang-in. “Lee Kang-in’s determination to compete in the Asian Games is strong. It’s hard to say how we’ll use him, but we’re thinking about how we’ll use him. It depends on how competitive he is in other positions. We’ll let him play where he plays well and where he likes to play.”

Klinsmann had a different opinion. “We’re going to call him up to the A team in September and then send him to the Asian Games,” Klinsmann said. We’re lucky that the A matches and the Asian Games don’t overlap. I understand Hwang Sun-hong’s position as he hasn’t trained with Lee Kang-in yet. However, it would be more helpful for him to play high-level A matches and join the Asian Games team,” he said, adding that he was not in favor of an early start.

However, the injury threw a wrench into all those plans. With a recovery date of mid-September, he will not be able to participate in the national team’s away trials in Europe. His participation in the Asian Games is also in doubt. The Asian Games will take place in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8. Given his expected recovery time in France, he could theoretically join the team.

Lee Kang-in ⓒKyun Hye-mi Reporter

Lee Kang-in ⓒKyung Hye-mi Reporter

Lee Kang-in ⓒKyung Hye-mi Reporter

The Asian Games are not organized by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Paris Saint-Germain is not required to send a team. With the UEFA Champions League on the horizon and the Asian Cup in the second half of the league next January, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to make the trip. Plus, he’s not 100% fit. We won’t know until after that time.

The injury was caused by an overzealous move against Toulouse. Lee started against Toulouse in the second round of the French Ligue 1 in 2023-24. He started on the left flank after being expected to play in the attacking midfield at the start of the season. His role was more like a wing-back in a wide-open situation. The player he had to work closest with was midfielder Fabian Luis.

Fabian Luis and Lee Kang-in didn’t have the best chemistry. Fabian Lewis couldn’t time the ball well enough for Lee to penetrate the flank. When he wanted to penetrate, he put it at his feet, and when Lee wanted to receive, he gave him a penetrating pass.

The cacophony was troubling for Lee. Around the 20th minute of the first half, I gave him a pass against his movements and he tried to take the penetration. However, Fabian Luis played a pass under his feet, and for a split second, Lee stretched his legs to receive it. With his hamstring injury still not fully recovered, it was an overzealous move that could have caused further damage to the muscle.

Hwang Sun-hong ⓒKorea Football Association

Lee Kang-in ⓒYonhap/AFP

Lee played until the beginning of the second half against Toulouse. It seemed like everything was fine until he went off as a substitute, but the injury was eventually announced. Paris Saint-Germain announced on their official website on the 22nd, “Lee Kang-in has sustained an injury to his left quadriceps. He will continue his treatment until at least the end of the next A-match period.” Last time it was the right, this time the left.

“He was injured in training after the Toulouse game,” some reported. However, after that report, it was “injured in Toulouse”. If he was injured in Toulouse, it was most likely due to the aforementioned overuse injury.

Klinsmann’s goal of playing in the September A match is now out of the question. All eyes now turn to the Asian Games. Hwang Sun-hong wanted to send his team to the Asian Games early, but Lee Kang-in’s injury prevented him from doing so.

2018 Asian Games Jakarta Palembang ⓒKorea Football Association

2018 Asian Games Jakarta Palembang ⓒKorea Football Confederation

2018 Asian Games Jakarta Palembang ⓒKorea Football Confederation

Even if he is called up for the group stage, Lee Kang-in will not be able to be fully utilized. The locals are hoping to have him back by mid-September, but it could take longer for him to be fit enough to play safely. At the very least, it’s looking more likely that Lee will play after the tournament.

Perhaps Hwang Sun-hong will have to come up with a tactical plan without Lee during the group stage of the Hangzhou Asian Games. South Korea is in Group E of the Asian Games and will be paired with Southeast Asian team Thailand and Middle Eastern teams Bahrain and Kuwait for a spot in the knockout stage. In the last edition of the tournament, South Korea won the title thanks to strong performances from the A team, including Son Heung-min, Hwang Eui-jo, and Kim Min-jae.

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