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Matsui out, Honda questionable for Saudi Arabia match

Kyodo

Daisuke Matsui will miss the next Asian Cup match against Saudi Arabia after tearing his right quadriceps, the Japan midfielder said Saturday night.

Matsui suffered the injury during Thursday’s victory over Syria, a win that propelled Japan to the top of Group B ahead of Jordan on total goals. He played almost the entire match, coming off in the 92nd minute for Hajime Hosogai.

Matsui has started both games for coach Alberto Zaccheroni at this continental championship. Matsui, who plays for club Tom Tomsk in the Russian Premier League, said he had no idea when and how he was injured.

“I didn’t feel a thing because adrenaline was flowing,” Matsui said after Saturday’s training session, for which he was a spectator. “It wasn’t until after the game that I felt the pain. I never thought something like this would happen.”

According to the Japan Football Association, there is no timetable on Matsui’s return. It remains to be seen whether he will leave the squad altogether.

Also hurt was Keisuke Honda, who sprained a left ankle ligament and worked out on the sideline Saturday. He was on the stationary bike and limited to light jogging.

Honda, who looked far from upbeat, left Al Ahli Stadium only to say, “I’m OK.”

Goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa will continue to stand in for Eiji Kawashima, who is suspended for at least one match for his red card in the Syria game.