Son Heung-min has admitted that wearing the protective mask causes him to lose sight of the ball during certain moments.
Son has been playing in the mask since he had surgery to fix the fracture around his eye socket, which took place as a result of a collision in the clash against Marseille at the start of November.
The South Korean played with the mask during the entirety of the World Cup but he has already displayed some uneasiness with wearing it since the Premier League’s restart.
The 30-year-old cast it aside midway into the clash against Aston Villa last Sunday and he also threw it to the ground in frustration after finding the back of the net against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Son admitted that he is not too comfortable wearing it but continues to do so, owing to the concerns voiced by his friends and family, as well as the doctors at Spurs.
The Tottenham forward told The Evening Standard: “Obviously, it’s not the same as when I play without the mask. My vision is still okay, but when the ball is coming to me, it’s sometimes annoying, because I can’t see the ball because of the mask. It’s not really bothering me, but it’s not the best.
“Against Villa, I was really frustrated, because I received the ball and then suddenly I lost the ball because I couldn’t see it. I was just angry. If I’m alone, obviously, I would play without the mask, but my parents, my family, my friends watching back in South Korea are all worried. Obviously, it’s a risk if someone hits me again.
“They [my parents] didn’t say you should wear it or whatever, but we were having dinner [after the Villa game] and they said, ‘Um, what happened with the mask?’
“Obviously, they’re worried. And also the physios and doctors said after the Villa game, ‘It’s your decision, but we recommend you should still be wearing the mask’, because the risk is still high, because it’s just seven weeks since the operation.”
Son has not hit his usual heights so far this season, having found the back of the net just four times in the Premier League in 16 matches (Transfermarkt).
When asked if he is frustrated with his lack of goals, the Spurs star responded: “Frustrated is the wrong word, to be honest! First of all, I felt a bit sorry for the team, my teammates, the fans, because the expectation is obviously higher than what I’ve been doing.
“It [the goal against Palace] was obviously like a weight off my shoulders going away. I’m grateful that first of all, we won the game. That’s the most important thing. It’s a really difficult place to get three points here, so I’m really happy to win this game.”
Spurs Web Opinion
The last thing that Son and Spurs need is for him to suffer another knock near the eye socket. Opposition defenders will be aware of the South Korean’s surgery and may leave something on him if he decides not to wear the mask. So, for the moment, it would not be wise for the forward to play without the protection even if it means he is slightly less effective as a result.
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