“I can’t wait for him to join us,” says AG coach Hwang Sun-hong of the recovering Lee Kang-in

Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain, PSG) is reportedly on the mend after injuring his thigh before the September A match and the Hangzhou Asian Games.Coach Hwang Seon-hong, who was left out of the Asian Games squad, hoped that he would be able to join the team as soon as possible.”The official email (from PSG) said that Lee Kang-in’s recovery is very fast,” said Hwang, who met with reporters before the team’s training session at Changwon Sports Complex on May 5. “The official position is that they will give me an answer (about joining the Asian Games team) on the 13th.”Lee, who is considered a key part of the Asian Games squad, started a league match for his club on March 20, but the club said he injured his left quadriceps on March 22.He was not named in the roster for the two September A matches in Europe (Wales and Saudi Arabia), and his absence from the team’s matches raised concerns for the Asian Games.”When I contacted the player himself, he said he’s been training with the ball since this week,” Hwang said, “and the team seems to be focusing on the game next weekend.”When asked, “Does this mean that he will join the Asian Games team after playing one game for his club,” Hwang said, “Kang-in told me that’s what they are planning to do (at PSG). We want a quick integration, so I think it’s a matter for him to solve.”Hwang hopes that PSG will share his status with him on the 13th, and that he will join the team as soon as he is deemed fit.”I’ve been working with Kang-In for over a year now. He’s a great player, but he needs to adapt to the combination and positioning of his teammates, so I’m impatient,” Hwang said.”It would be great if he could join us before the Games, but I think there is a possibility that he could come in at least as soon as the first game,” he said, adding, “Personally, I would like him to come sooner rather than later.”As for Lee’s position in the Asian Games squad, Hwang was cautious.”I can’t say for sure because I haven’t seen it with my own eyes,” he said, “I have communicated with Lee Kang-in, but there is a difference between talking about it and doing it on the training ground, so we will consider the overall combination.”With Lee unavailable and some players having to travel with the A team, the Asian Games squad has only 17 players in Changwon as of today, out of a final roster of 22. Seven training partners, including players from the U-20 national team, are helping out.Hwang said, “The variable will be when the A-team players and Kang In-jin will join us. For the first leg, we’ll have to plan with the players we have,” said Hwang. “We’ll prepare by closely grasping the physical aspects of the players. It’s difficult to organize the whole team, but we’re going to do it in segments.”The Asian Games squad, which convened the day before, will train in Changwon until Dec. 12, then move to the National Training Center (NFC) in Paju on Dec. 13 to cool down before departing 스포츠토토존 for China on Dec. 16.

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