South Korea have named Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-Min in their squad for the 2018 Asian Games to be held in Indonesia from Aug. 14 to Sept. 1 meaning he could miss opening month of the Premier League season.
Son is one of three overage players named in the 20-man under-23 squad along with goalkeeper Cho Hyun-Woo and Japan-based striker Hwang Ui-Jo.
However, as the tournament does not take place in an international match window, Tottenham are under no obligations to release the player with the Premier League campaign kicking off on Aug. 11.
But the tournament is a vital one for Son as it offers what is almost certain to be his last chance to win exemption from his impending 21-month long military service, which will likely begin in the first half of 2020 should defending champions South Korea not win the tournament again.
U23 coach Kim Hak-Bom told reporters in Seoul that he is unsure when Son will arrive in Indonesia but insisted he would be part of his squad.
"Son will definitely play, but we don't know when he will join the team," Kim said amid speculation that the player could arrive in Southeast Asia once the group stage is over. "Son is eager to play at the Asian Games, and he is an essential player to use. We hope he can join the team as soon as possible, because adjusting to hot weather in Indonesia isn't easy."
As well as Son and Cho, Lee Seung-Woo and Hwang Hee-Chan have been named in the squad less than a month after featuring for Korea in the 2018 World Cup.
Korea were eliminated at the group stage despite collecting a famous 2-0 win over Germany on June 25 in Kazan, a result that sent the defending champions crashing out.
Son scored twice in two appearances at the World Cup, including the second goal against Germany.
At the 2018 Asian Games, Korea were originally grouped with Bahrain, Malaysia and Kyrgyzstan but the draw is set to take place again after the United Arab Emirates and Palestine were omitted from the original selection.