OSAKA (Kyodo) Yasuhito Endo has pulled out of Japan’s squad for the upcoming Beijing Olympics after being hospitalized with a mystery virus, his club team Gamba Osaka said Friday.

Endo, who has been struck down with a high fever, had been named by Yasuharu Sorimachi as the coach’s only overage player for the under-23 competition in China next month after Vissel Kobe refused to release striker Yoshito Okubo.

Endo, sidelined for two months during the 2006 season after being diagnosed with hepatitis C, has already played over 30 league and cup games for Gamba this year, and the dead-ball specialist also played a pivotal role in helping the senior national team reach the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup.

Sorimachi’s side will open its Olympic campaign on Aug. 7, one day before the opening ceremony, against the United States and play Nigeria three days later in Tianjin before moving to Shenyang for a match with the Netherlands on Aug. 13.

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