Lee Dong-Gook could play a part in Korea Republic's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ opener against Greece on Saturday after making a quicker than expected recovery from injury.

The 32-year-old former Middlesbrough striker suffered a hamstring injury last month and was not expected to figure for the Taeguk Warriors until their second Group B match against Argentina on 17 June. However, the Pohang Steelers forward, who finished top scorer in the K-League last season, has made rapid progress in recovering from the injury and coach Huh Jung-moo believes he could feature this weekend.

"Lee has improved a lot. He may even play a little during the group opener with Greece," he said. Lee is at his first FIFA World Cup since France 1998 after being left out of Guus Hiddink's squad for the 2002 tournament before a knee injury denied him a place in Germany four years later.