Atsuso Uchida will remain at the Bundesliga club and will not travel to Australia for the January tournament.
Star Japan defender Atsuto Uchida will miss January’s Asian Cup with the Japanese Football Association (JFA) allowing the player to remain at Bundesliga side Schalke to regain fitness.
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Japan coach Javier Aguirre opted against selecting the 72-times capped Uchida, allowing him to recover from a knee injury that has hampered his season.
The 26-year-old suffered a tendon injury in his right knee in February before inflammation issues disrupted his season following the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Uchida will be replaced by Kashima Antlers’ Naomichi Ueda, the JFA announced.
Japan face Palestine, Iraq and Jordan in Group D.
The Blue Samurai opens its campaign against Palestine in Newcastle on January 12.