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Saturday, March 27, 2004

UEFA CUP

Surgery for Ilhan

KOBE (Kyodo) Vissel Kobe's Turkish striker Ilhan Mansiz will undergo surgery on his right knee and is not expected back in Japan until late April at the earliest, officials of the J. League first-division side said Friday.

Ilhan, who left for Italy on Monday to have the sore knee examined, is scheduled to have the cartilage repaired in an operation April 1 and is required to go through rehabilitation for the next three weeks, the team said.

The 28-year-old, who complained of discomfort in the knee after training last weekend, is likely to miss at least four league matches.

Ilhan joined Kobe for a J. League record fee of $4.5 million last month and played in both of Kobe's matches this season.



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