SYDNEY (AFP) – Japan playmaker Shinji Kagawa suffered a heart-stopping moment during training at the Asian Cup on Saturday when he came down awkwardly on his elbow while playing foot volleyball.
Despite the scare, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder insisted he was not seriously hurt as the defending champions prepare for their opening Group D game against Palestine on Monday.
“It was a bit of a close shave but it’s fine,” Kagawa told Japanese media after sustaining bruising and sitting out the rest of training as a precaution.
“I just landed heavily on my elbow, nothing too serious. It would have been embarrassing to injure myself doing that.” Kagawa will have added incentive to do well at the Asian Cup in Australia after fracturing a metatarsal in the semifinals of the 2011 tournament and missing Japan’s victory over the Socceroos in the final in Doha.