Japan’s Nakazawa likely to miss Asian Cup

Veteran Japan defender Yuji Nakazawa is unlikely to play in next

month’s Asian Cup as he recovers from an injured left knee.

The 32-year-old Nakazawa told Wednesday’s Nikkansports newspaper

that: ”I don’t want to cause the national team any problems so I’m

thinking it’s best not to take part.”

Japan will open its Asian Cup campaign on Jan. 9 against Jordan

in Qatar.

Japan has won the Asian Cup three times. Nakazawa was a member

of Japan’s team that won in 2000 and 2004.

Nakazawa’s absence would be a significant blow to Alberto

Zaccheroni’s squad as defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka is also

sidelined with a knee injury.