The Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa has said that he has pulled out of the World Cup qualification matches against Iraq due to a back injury, but it is not a serious injury that will keep him on the sidelines for much longer.

The Manchester United midfielder has become one of the important players within the team. He has had a good partnership with the new striker Robin van Persie. Hence, there have been fears that Manchester United will miss him for the next couple of matches after he pulled out just a few hours prior to the match against Iraq.

Japan managed to win the match 1-0, and the 23-year-old Shinji Kagawa has played down fears that he will miss the chunk of the Manchester United season due to the back injury. Unofficial statement from the Japanese football Association said that the player felt a little bit of trouble after his first practice session and decided not to take any risks with the injury. Manchester United will be taking on Wigan during the weekend, following which they will be playing against Galatasaray in the first group stage Champions League match at Old Trafford. Manchester United were knocked out of the competition in the group stages last season and will be looking to do better this time around.

“It [the injury] happened in yesterday’s practice. I was holding the ball and went to make a move and in that instant it started to hurt. I won’t take long to recover,” said the midfielder in an interview given to Nikkan Sports. “He felt uncomfortable in his lower back in practice yesterday, and we decided to wait a night and see how it looked, but he’s not at 100 per cent so we’re leaving him off. He didn’t go to the hospital,” said the Japanese FA statement.

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