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Japan midfielder Shinji Ono, who underwent endoscopic surgery on an injured left ankle, started rehabilitation Friday and is making a quicker than expected recovery, soccer officials said.

The Feyenoord player began jogging as part of his physical therapy after having bone chips removed Dec. 27, which had caused him pain since he re-injured his ankle in a league match against ADO Den Haag early last month.

Although he is making remarkable progress, the 25-year-old will almost surely miss Japan’s 2006 World Cup qualifier at home against North Korea on Feb. 9.

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