• Kyodo

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Vissel Kobe’s Brazilian striker Leandro will be out of action for around six months after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his left knee, the J. League first-division side said Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Leandro, the joint top scorer in the top flight last season with 19 goals, also suffered meniscus damage when he was hurt during Vissel’s season-opening 1-0 win away to Shimizu S-Pulse on Saturday.

Leandro joined Kobe for a second time during the 2015 season after a spell with Kashiwa Reysol.

He has a wealth of J. League experience having also played for Gamba Osaka and his injury comes as a major blow to Kobe’s hopes of winning a first title.

Leandro has scored 87 times in 186 appearances in the top flight. He also scored 36 goals in J2.

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