Germany’s Kicker has reported that Schalke right back Atsuto Uchida will not return to action this season as he continues to recover from a knee injury.
The Samurai Blue mainstay has struggled this season with inflammation to his right patellar tendon, and has not participated in training since the middle of April.
The same injury kept Uchida out of January’s Asian Cup in Australia, where defending champions Japan were knocked out in the quarterfinals.
According to the magazine, the 27-year-old has undergone a special radiation therapy on the club’s advice rather than surgery recommended by the Japan Football Association’s medical team.
Schalke and the JFA have clashed several times over Uchida’s fitness in the last two years; a recurring thigh injury nearly kept him from participating in the 2014 World Cup and club officials have not been hesitant to criticise friendly call-ups while the defender was not fully fit.
With three matches left in the season, the fifth-place side are struggling to hold on to a spot in next year’s UEFA Europa League.