• Kyodo


Japan Under-23 internationals Musashi Suzuki and Ken Matsubara will both be out of action for three months due to injury, their J. League first-division club Albirex Niigata said on Thursday.

Striker Suzuki has strained quad muscles in his left leg, while Matsubara is sidelined after undergoing surgery for damaged meniscus in his right knee.

Both Suzuki and Matsubara were part of the Japan U-23 squad that punched its ticket to this summer’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics at the Asian U-23 Championship in Doha in January.

The news comes after FC Tokyo and Japan U-23 defender Sei Muroya was last month ruled out for three months after surgery on a fractured left foot and looks likely to affect Japan’s preparations for the Olympic tournament in August.

But Japan U-23 coach Makoto Teguramori said, “I don’t want those players to rush their recovery but I want other players to realize they are still in with a chance and have competitive fire in their eyes.”

Meanwhile, Niigata also said that goalkeeper Takaya Kurokawa will be out for two months after having an operation on the patellar tendon in his right knee on Feb. 17.

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