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Veteran defender Atsuto Uchida finalizes contract with Kashima Antlers

Kyodo

Defender Atsuto Uchida will return to the Kashima Antlers after joining Union Berlin in August, the German second-division side said Tuesday.

The 29-year-old had been hampered by a hamstring injury and wished to return to Japan, Union Berlin said in a statement.

Uchida started his career with the J. League club in 2006, helping it win three straight league championships from 2007 to 2009. He moved to Schalke 04 in 2010 and spent seven years there before joining Union Berlin.

However, after undergoing surgery on his right knee in June 2015, he made just one appearance for Schalke before joining Union. He has since stepped up his recovery in a bid to rejoin the national squad for the World Cup in Russia in June and July.