Manchester United's Park Ji-Sung will not be selected as an overage player to represent Korea Republic at the Beijing Olympics, the national coach said on Tuesday.
"We decided not to select him as a wild card in consideration of recent circumstances," Park Sung-Hwa told reporters. The Olympic Football Tournament is for players under 23, but three older representatives are allowed.
The coach said the decision came after talks with Park. "Due to fatigue, Park Ji-Sung appeared to have been suffering from a mental stress over his selection" for the Olympics, he said.
The coach also said he had been told by Manchester United that the midfielder would need "rest and dental treatment." Local media have said the knee injury that kept Park Ji-Sung out of action for nine months has flared again.
He did not train with the South Korean team last week after experiencing discomfort in his knee ahead of their FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Turkmenistan in Ashgabat.
The former PSV Eindhoven player first injured a cruciate ligament during a league win against Blackburn at Old Trafford in March last year. He had career-saving surgery in the United States during the close season and only returned to action in January. Until now he had shown no ill-effects.
South Korea have been drawn alongside Italy, Cameroon and Honduras for the Olympics in August.