South Korea lose defender Kwak to injury

South Korea defender Kwak Tae-Hwi has been ruled out of the World Cup finals after suffering a knee injury in Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Belarus in Austria.

Kwak, who only returned to the squad last November following a lengthy lay-off with a similar injury, twisted knee ligaments during a challenge in the first half and was carried off on a stretcher.

Coach Huh Jung-moo is set to call up either Suwon Bluewings defender Kang Min-Soo or Hwang Jae-Won of Asian champions Pohang Steelers to take Kwak's place in his 23-man World Cup squad.

"Kwak will need at least four weeks to recover from twisting a ligament in his left knee,'' said media officer Lee Won-Jae.

South Korea complete their preparations against European champions Spain on Thursday ahead of their opening game against Greece in Group B on June 12.

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