South Korea striker Lee Dong-Gook has been ruled out of the World Cup in June after injuring his right knee.
Lee was not selected for the 2002 World Cup
Lee, 27, requires surgery to repair torn cruciate ligaments in the knee and will be out for six months.
The Pohang Steelers forward has been a first-choice regular up front for South Korea's Dutch coach Dick Advocaat.
But club spokesman Shin Joo-Hyon said: "Lee cannot take part in the World Cup because of his injury, which requires surgery and six months of treatment."
Lee injured the knee in a league match last week and travelled to Germany at the weekend to seek treatment.
He has scored five goals in his last six club games and was South Korea's youngest player in the 1998 World Cup in France.
But he missed out on the 2002 tournament because he was out of favour with then-coach Guus Hiddink.
Advocaat will name his World Cup squad on 11 May.