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Thursday, April 6, 2006

Yanagisawa leaves hospital, seeks early comeback

Japan and Kashima Antlers striker Atsushi Yanagisawa left a hospital Wednesday after undergoing surgery for a fractured bone in his right foot.

News photo
Atsushi Yanagisawa

"I feel less pain than expected. It's pretty good and I want to recover as quickly as possible to achieve my goal of playing in the World Cup finals," said Yanagisawa, who sustained the injury in a J. league match on March 25 and had surgery the following day.

Yanagisawa will continue his rehabilitation with the aim of returning to action in early May.

Doctors initially expected Yanagisawa would need up to two months to fully recover. But Kashima team doctor Jun Seki, who performed the surgery at a Saitama hospital, said it is possible that Yanagisawa will recover sooner and make an early return.

Yanagisawa was injured just a month after returning to Kashima on a loan deal that runs through June from Messina, for whom he had not scored a single league goal since joining the Italian first-division club in the summer of 2004.

The 28-year-old had to pull out of the Japan squad for its friendly with Ecuador in Oita last Thursday, which Japan won 1-0.

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