Antlers centre-back Shoji undergoes hand surgery

Antlers centre-back Shoji undergoes hand surgery

Kashima Antlers announced that defender Gen Shoji underwent successful surgery for a fracture to his left wrist on Sunday.

The 22-year-old was called up to Japan’s Asian Cup squad in January and suffered the injury in a Valentine’s Day friendly against Mito Hollyhock.

Shoji did manage to feature in the AFC Champions League ties with Western Sydney Wanderers and FC Seoul but duly missed his side’s J.League opener at Shimizu S-Pulse, which they lost 1-3.

His expected return to training this week comes as a boost to Toninho Cerezo, although whether the centre-back will be fit enough to play against Shonan Bellmare this Saturday is unknown.

Naomichi Ueda will reprise his place beside Hwang Seok Ho in the starting XI should Shoji fail to prove his fitness in time.

The Antlers have already shipped seven goals in just three games, losing all this season, and the struggling giants are already under pressure to turn their form around.