SAITAMA (Kyodo) World Cup defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka will miss Alberto Zaccheroni’s first game in charge of the national team against Argentina on Friday because of a sore right knee, Japan Football Association technical director Hiromi Hara said Monday.

According to Hara, doctors have advised Tulio against playing in the friendly at Saitama Stadium 2002, while the Brazilian-born defender himself admitted that he was “not in the right condition” to take part.

Tulio joined up with the squad but trained separately from the main group in Monday’s first practice session under the Italian head coach.

Japan plays 2002 World Cup cohosts South Korea on Oct. 12 in Seoul in another warmup for the Asian Cup in Qatar in January.

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