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Facing a rocky road back from a thigh injury and uncertainty over his place in Japan’s squad for the World Cup in Brazil, Atsuto Uchida returned to German first-division club Schalke on Saturday after completing rehabilitation in Japan.

Uchida suffered the injury in a 2-0 Bundesliga win at home to Hannover 96 on Feb. 9.

The 25-year-old Uchida opted not to undergo surgery. No time frame has been put on his recovery.

“If I hurt (the thigh) again, then there will be no chance (of playing at the World Cup),” Uchida told reporters at Narita airport before leaving for Germany.

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