Albirex Niigata striker Rafael Silva returned to Japan on Thursday after undergoing medical treatment in his native Brazil.
The 23-year-old had returned to his homeland after tearing his right hamstring in training on July 9, but is now expected to rejoin first-team training soon as he nears his comeback.
Despite his absence, Rafael remains Albirex’s top scorer with seven goals from just 12 appearances this season.
The talisman’s return will be welcomed given Albirex’s malaise in his absence continued in Saturday’s 2-0 home loss to Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Masaaki Yanagishita’s men remain 14th in the second stage standings even though Hiroshi Ibusuki has filled in admirably for goals in this period.