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Ailing Koo misses out on Korea Republic friendlies

Seoul: Midfielder Koo Ja-cheol will miss Korea Republic's upcoming friendlies against Uruguay and Panama as he recovers from a kidney infection.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said Koo has been diagnosed with acute pyelonephritis. The FC Augsburg midfielder is also expected to miss German Bundesliga matches.

Koo, who has 19 goals in 70 matches, was looking to make his first appearance since Paulo Bento took over as head coach in August. He didn't play in Korea Republic's friendly matches against Costa Rica and Chile last month.

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The KFA said Pohang Steelers attacker Kim Seung-dae will replace Koo. Kim will don the Korea Republic jersey for the first time since February. He has one goal in five national team appearances.

Bento called up 25 players for the Taeguk Warriors friendlies against Uruguay in Seoul on Oct 12 and Panama in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province four days later.

The Korea Republic players will begin training at the National Football Centre in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, on Monday.

The friendlies are part of Korea Republic's preparations for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 UAE. Bento's team are in Group C with China PR, Philippines and Kyrgyz Republic for the Continental showpiece.

Sources: Yonhap, FIFA via Getty Images

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