• Kyodo


Japan striker Naohiro Takahara checked into a hospital Thursday to undergo a two-day medical examination after he suffered chest pains late Wednesday evening through the following morning, soccer sources said.

Japan Football Association technical director Kozo Tashima met with a Hamburg SV official to discuss the player’s condition and his status for the Athens Olympics this summer, but agreed to wait until the June 9 World Cup qualifier between Japan and India to receive the final nod.

The 25-year-old Takahara missed the 2002 World Cup, cohosted by Japan and South Korea, after he complained of breathing problems and was diagnosed with pulmonary embolus, a blockage of an artery in the lungs, in April that year.

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