Berlin (AFP) – Japan defender Atsuto Uchida is set to fly home on Friday to be treated by a specialist doctor after suffering with on-going knee problems, his Bundesliga club Schalke 04 confirmed.
The 28-year-old, who missed the whole of last season with injury, has been blighted by knee problems for two years and has been out since a relapse in April 2015.
Schalke will start their new Bundesliga season at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday August 27 without Uchida, who has made 74 appearances for Japan.
After a period of rehab in Japan, Uchida flew back to Gelsenkirchen last month to take part in Schalke’s pre-season training, only for the injury to return and now he will fly east again to be treated by his specialist Japanese doctor.
“He arrived back here with a lot of hope and euphoria,” Schalke’s director of sport Axel Schuster told magazine Kicker.
“During our camp in Austria, he took part in some Under-23 team training.
“But unfortunately, we have to sum up that he is not quite that far along and has suffered a set back.
“There (in Japan) he will have a fixed time scale of treatment, we think about 14 days, with special measures, courses of injections and similar,” added Schuster.
The right-back played his last game for Schalke in March 2015 and travelled to Japan last year, against the advice of his club’s doctors, for an operation on his knee.
His Schalke contract expires in June 2018.
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