J. League

Grampus goalkeeper Mitch Langerak tests positive for coronavirus

Jiji, Kyodo

Nagoya Grampus goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak was found to be carrying the novel coronavirus, days after another player of the J. League first-division team tested positive earlier this month, the club said Sunday.

Langerak, an Australia international, has been admitted to an Aichi Prefecture hospital although he is showing no symptoms, according to the team.

After Grampus forward Mu Kanazaki was confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus last Tuesday in a PCR test conducted the preceding day, 19 people who had close contact with him also took tests, and all of them showed negative results.

On Saturday, PCR tests were carried out on 26 others, including the 31-year-old Langerak, who arrived at Nagoya in 2018. The 25 other than the goalkeeper tested negative. Langerak has had no contact with Kanazaki recently, according to Grampus officials.

The club will conduct PCR tests on all other players and staff members of the team as early as Monday while working to identify people who had close contact with Langerak, in addition to disinfecting team facilities.

"We will decide the schedule of our team's training based on the results of the tests," said Grampus president Koki Konishi.

The J1 League, which has been suspended since late February due to the coronavirus crisis, is set to resume on July 4.

Nagoya, which restarted full-team training on June 1, suspended such training again the following day, in the wake of the confirmation of Kanazaki's infection.

"The team is at a disadvantage, but I will work ahead with our players with a strong determination," Konishi said.

In March, Vissel Kobe defender Gotoku Sakai tested positive for the virus, but he has resumed training with teammates after making a full recovery.

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