Fixture pile-up causes Nakamura confusion

February 29, 2008

TOKYO, Feb 29 (Reuters) - Celtic's Japanese midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura is likely to miss another World Cup qualifier because of a rearranged club fixture.

Nakamura would face the prospect of flying to Bahrain for Japan's March 26 game after playing for Celtic at Gretna in the Scottish Premier League three days earlier.

'Shunsuke would only get into Bahrain at the last minute,' Japan coach Takeshi Okada told Japanese media on Friday. 'I'm not sure yet if I will call him up.'

Celtic's visit to Gretna had initially been scheduled for March 22 but has since been switched to March 23, depriving Nakamura of an extra 24 hours to recover.

Nakamura did not play in Japan's opening 2010 World Cup qualifier at home to Thailand on Feb. 6 when a 4-1 win slightly flattered the three-times Asian champions.

Okada also faces a lack of options in attack and could resurrect the international career of Kazuki Ganaha, who was banned for six games last year for taking an intravenous garlic infusion.