YOKOHAMA – Former Japan midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura is set to miss Yokohama F. Marinos’ J.League clash at home against Nagoya Grampus on Sunday — and could be out even longer.
The 35-year-old skipper was sidelined by a gallbladder inflammation last week and did not train on Wednesday, making him all but unavailable for this weekend’s game at Nissan Stadium.
Nakamura has appeared in every league and Nabisco Cup match this season for the J1 leaders, who are two points ahead of second-place Urawa Reds with four games remaining.
“It’s a major blow to the team,” defender and Nakamura’s former international teammate Yuji Nakazawa said. “Just awful.”
Since being hospitalized Friday, Nakamura’s condition has picked up after fasting and ample rest. The Celtic legend is expected to be released from hospital later this week but according to the team, he is weak after having lost 3 to 4 kg.
Marinos manager Yasuhiro Higuchi said a quick return for Nakamura was looking unlikely.
“If he tries to fit in right away, he will get hurt again,” Higuchi said. “We’ve got to keep an eye on things like his weight and body fat percentage as we bring him back.”
Okada steps down
Japan’s two-time World Cup coach Takeshi Okada is stepping down as manager of Hangzhou Greentown, the Chinese Super League team announced on its official website Wednesday.
The 57-year-old Okada is leaving after two seasons due to family reasons, the club said. He is scheduled to hold a press conference on Nov. 18.
Okada will, however, continue to work with Hangzhou on an irregular basis regarding player development among other areas. The former Yokohama F. Marinos boss has been linked with the job at Thailand’s Chonburi FC.
Hangzhou finished 11th in the 16-team league last season, and were 12th this season.