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Monday, Jan. 10, 2011

Makino follows Sakai out of squad

DOHA (Kyodo) Japan made another defensive replacement ahead of its Asian Cup opener against Jordan on Sunday, including Urawa Reds' Mitsuru Nagata for Tomoaki Makino of Cologne.

Makino, who only transferred to the Bundesliga club from Sanfrecce Hiroshima last week and was expected to be a key part of coach Alberto Zaccheroni's plans in Qatar, had sprained his left ankle in training on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Nagata made his move to former Asian champion Urawa this offseason from Albirex Niigata. The center back has made one previous appearance for Japan.

Makino is the second defender in as many days to withdraw from the Asian Cup. A day earlier, Ryota Moriwaki of Sanfrecce replaced Niigata's Gotoku Sakai, who pulled out with lower back pains.

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