SON HEUNG-MIN has revealed that he cannot see the ball while in his protective mask – but he is wearing it for his parents.
The South Korean forward, 30, fractured an eye socket before heading off to the World Cup and played with a mask at the tournament in Qatar.
However, he pulled it off while celebrating his goal against the Eagles after previously ditching it just 20 minutes into Tottenham’s 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
Now Son has revealed that he only continues wearing the mask because his family are worried he could suffer another blow to the face.
Ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup clash with Portsmouth, he told The 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.”
Son continued: “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?’
Most read in Football
“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.”
After scoring a hat-trick off the bench against Leicester in September, Son failed to hit the target again until this week.
And he also revealed his frustrations over his lack of goals after he won last season’s Premier League Golden Boot.
He added: “Frustrated is the wrong word, to be honest! First of all, I felt a bit sorry for the team, my team-mates, the fans, because the expectation is obviously higher than what I’ve been doing.
“It [the goal] 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.”