TOKYO, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Experienced Japan defender Yuji
Nakazawa is in danger of missing the Asian Cup in January after
tearing knee ligaments during training.
The 32-year-old, a key member of Japan's last two World Cup
sides, hobbled out of Thursday's training with his J-League
club Yokohama F-Marinos.
Yokohama officials told Reuters on Friday Nakazawa's
participation in the January 7-29 Asian Cup was "unclear" but his
absence would be a major blow to Japan coach Alberto
"We have been told it will take six weeks to fully heal,"
Yokohama's Masanori Hakamada said. "But then he has to complete
rehab so it's difficult to say if he will be fit in time."
However, the Japan Football Association (JFA) said that
Nakazawa could still play a part in the Qatar tournament.
"Six weeks gives him enough time," the JFA's Futoshi
Nagamatsu told Reuters. "It's a question of how well he
recovers but we're not saying he won't make it in time."
Nakazawa popped up with some crucial set-piece goals to
help the Blue Samurai win the 2004 Asian Cup in China.
The former Japan captain had just returned from a torn calf
muscle before injuring himself in training.
Nakazawa and fellow centre-back Tulio impressed at this
year's World Cup in South Africa where Japan reached the last
16 under Takeshi Okada.
Yokohama are currently in a race for third place in the
J-League which would qualify them for next year's Asian
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