I was in pain every single moment of the Premier League last season and almost gave up, says Tottenham star Son | The Sun
SON HEUNG-MIN has revealed he was in pain every single moment he played last season.
The Tottenham star, 31, had a poor campaign by his standards, netting only 14 goals.
But that does not tell the full story as a nagging sports hernia problem meant he was in discomfort all the time.
He eventually had surgery in June and now feels “like a new man”.
The South Korean icon said: “I was in pain every single moment, literally.
“It sounds weird but every turn, running, stopping, passing, kicking, it affected everything.
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“It was strange because in normal life, doing no exercise, it felt fine so you go on the pitch excited because you didn’t have pain when you were walking.
“As soon as you were on the pitch for a warm-up you would be frustrated because the pain is there, every action, turning, passing, kicking… finally I made the decision at the end of the season to have the surgery and it’s the best decision I ever made.”
Son played a whopping 60 games last season, including four at the World Cup in Qatar.
He was feeling his injury in every game but it was worst in the final Premier League fixture against Leeds, which Spurs won 4-1.
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The ex-Bayer Leverkusen man added: “I was really close to giving up against Leeds.
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“But when I looked at the staff I couldn’t say ‘there’s one more game and I’m going to have surgery now’.
“I was just closing my eyes praying, please let’s win this game and luckily we performed last season.”
Son had shared the Premier League golden boot with Liverpool’s Mo Salah the season prior after blasting 23 top-flight goals.
So when his form dropped off due to his injury, fans started questioning whether he had lost his touch.
Yet still Son did not want to reveal the real reason behind his form.
He explained: “I’m the type who is always hiding the pain.
“I really didn’t want it to come out officially that I had an operation.
“Probably people are thinking why didn’t I do the surgery as early as possible but for me it felt like for the club during the season every single moment felt like a difficult moment.
“I didn’t want to let the people down.
“I feel a new man. Last season, the whole season in pain. It was incredible. I can’t even think about the pain, you know. Now I feel really good, fresh.
“The physios are still working on it because it has only been a week, 10 days so I’m looking forward to being in good shape. I’m ready to rock 'n roll.”
Son, who last season joined the hundred club of players who have reached a ton of Premier League goals, wants to show he is still “the Sonny we all know” this term.
New boss Ange Postecoglou sees the forward as a key figure to his new way forward.
While the Australian even hinted that Son could be captain material.
Postecoglou said: “I know Sonny really well, I’ve known him for a long time. He’s an outstanding player.
“Especially the way I like teams to play with wingers who are a goal threat, he’s elite.
“I’m looking forward to working with him. He’s another one that I think shows real leadership qualities. I look at him and he’s pretty much a conduit for the whole squad.
“He mixes in all groups. I don’t think it’s just because he’s popular. What he’s done in the game he has a certain standing in the game. It’s good to see that influence on the group.
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“He’s got a massive influence on the group which doesn’t surprise me because I know he’s a leader for his nation and he’s been an icon for his nation for a long time.
“He carries that really well for someone who has been in the spotlight for that long. He has enormous respect among the players.”