Soccer / J. League

Vissel's Leandro undergoes season-ending knee surgery

Kyodo

Leandro is done for the J. League season and beyond after the Vissel Kobe striker was ruled out for eight to nine months with a damaged left anterior cruciate ligament, the team announced Friday.

Leandro, the league’s joint top scorer last season with 19 goals in 31 games, had surgery Thursday to repair the damage he suffered in training in mid-August.

The news comes as a blow to struggling Kobe, which was waiting for Leandro’s return from a knee injury suffered in the Feb. 25 season opener, when the Brazilian hurt his the left ACL as well as the meniscus.

Despite spending heavily on signings this season, including World Cup winner Lukas Podoloski, Vissel are floundering in 11th place in the first division and were knocked out of the league cup in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

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