TOKYO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Japan were given a confidence boost
for next month's Asian Cup on Wednesday when key defender Yuji
Nakazawa said he would be fit for the Qatar tournament.
The tough-tackling 32-year-old tore knee ligaments in
training with his J-League side Yokohama F-Marinos last month
but is already back in training.
"I'm able to run without having to worry about the injury,"
Nakazawa told Japan's Nikkan Sports newspaper. "My condition is
pretty much where it needs to be."
Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni feared he would be without
the influential centre-back for the January 7-29 Asian Cup, the
Italian's first official tournament in charge of the Blue
Nakazawa, a key member of Japan's last two World Cup sides,
has responded well to surgery, however, and was included among a
preliminary squad of 50 players named earlier this week.
The news gives Japan a welcome lift with Nakazawa's central
defensive partner Tulio set to miss Asia's showpiece event
having also suffered a knee injury.
Zaccheroni is currently in Europe attempting to secure the
services of his European-based players for the tournament.
Japan finished fourth at the last Asian Cup in 2007 where
Iraq recorded a famous victory.
Brazil forward voices his support for protesters who have taken to the streets of Brazil
Tahiti coach says it would be "quite impossible" for his team to beat world champions Spain
Neymar puts in best performance for his country in 2-0 win over Mexico in Confederations Cup
Substitute Sebastian Giovinco taps in late goal to secure Italy thrilling 4-3 win over Japan
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010