Yuto Nagatomo in doubt for crucial World Cup qualifier against Australia

Yuto Nagatomo has been in doubt for Japan’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Australia after limped off the pitch during Inter Milan’s victory over Roma over the weekend.

The Japanese defender started against Roma but felt discomfort in his left leg and had to be replaced in the 56th minute.

“My hamstring tightened up,” he said, as quoted by The Japan Times. “I’ll head home and talk things over with the doctor.”

The former FC Tokyo star is scheduled to arrive in Japan on Monday evening and will then be examined by the national team medical staff.

Nagatomo’s injury would be another headache for Japan head coach Vahid Halilhodzic as the left-back is one of Japan’s most experienced and consistent performers in the squad.

The Samurai Blue, who are leading Asia’s Group B, will square off Australia on Thursday in a clash that could decide both nations’ hopes of claiming an automatic qualification to the finals in Russia.