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Metatarsal victim Yanagisawa gives Japan hope

Written by: Staff

TOKYO, May 2 (Reuters) Though not as celebrated a metatarsal victim as England's Wayne Rooney, Japan striker Atsushi Yanagisawa is more likely to play at the World Cup.

Japan coach Zico left Yanagisawa out of the squad he named today for this month's Kirin Cup matches against Bulgaria and Scotland.

However, the Brazilian said the former Sampdoria striker should be fit for the World Cup where Japan meet holders Brazil, Croatia and Australia in Group F.

Yanagisawa, now back with Kashima Antlers after spells in Italy at Sampdoria and Messina, suffered the break to his right foot in a J-League match on March 25.

Japan face Australia in their opening World Cup game on June 12.

''He's making good progress which is good news for me and Japan,'' Zico told reporters. ''There is no point taking the risk of bringing him back for the Kirin Cup. I'm not worried.'' Japan play Bulgaria in Osaka on May 9 before taking on Scotland in Saitama on May 13 in their last home game before leaving for Germany on May 26.

Zico, who also left his European-based players out of a 23-man squad, names his World Cup party on May 15.

The Asian champions are set to play Germany in Leverkusen on May 30 and Malta in Duesseldorf on June 4 in their final World Cup warm-ups.

Kirin Cup squad: Goalkeepers - Yoichi Doi (FC Tokyo), Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi (Jubilo Iwata), Seigo Narazaki (Nagoya Grampus Eight) Defenders - Makoto Tanaka (Iwata), Tsuneyasu Miyamoto (Gamba Osaka), Alex (Urawa Reds), Yuji Nakazawa (Yokohama F-Marinos), Keisuke Tsuboi (Urawa), Shinji Murai (Iwata), Akira Kaji (Osaka), Yuichi Komano (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Teruyuki Moniwa (FC Tokyo) Midfielders - Takashi Fukunishi (Iwata), Mitsuo Ogasawara (Kashima Antlers), Masashi Motoyama (Kashima), Shinji Ono (Urawa), Yasuhito Endo (Osaka), Yuki Abe (JEF United Chiba), Makoto Hasebe (Urawa) Forwards - Tatsuhiko Kubo (Yokohama), Keiji Tamada (Nagoya), Seiichiro Maki (Chiba), Hisato Sato (Hiroshima).


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