Tokyo: Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni dropped injured Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa from a 23-man squad he announced on Monday for their World Cup qualifier against Oman away on November 14.
The Italian tactician, however, called up 13 other Europe-based stars including such regulars as CSKA Moscow playmaker Keisuke Honda, Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo and Stuttgart striker Shinji Okazaki.
Kagawa, 23, who moved from Borussia Dortmund last summer, injured his left knee in Manchester United's 3-2 Champions League win over Braga on October 23. His Premiership club want him to be out for four weeks.
Okazaki is coming back to international duty after a foot injury forced him out of Japan's European tour last month, in which they beat France 1-0 but bowed 4-0 to Brazil.
Zaccheroni also called up Takashi Usami, on loan to Hoffenheim from Bayern Munich, for the first time since June last year.
But Wigan Athletic striker Ryo Miyaichi, who played the final few minutes against Brazil, failed to make the squad.
In World Cup qualifying, Japan are leading Asian Group B with 10 points from three wins over Oman, Jordan and Iraq and a draw with Australia.
Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege/BEL), Shusaku Nishikawa (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)
Defenders: Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata), Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka) Yuzo Kurihara (Yokohama Marinos), Masahiko Inoha (Vissel Kobe), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan/ITA), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke/GER), Maya Yoshida (Southampton/ENG), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover/GER)
Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg/GER), Hajime Hosogai (Bayer Leverkusen/BER), Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Hideto Takahashi (FC Tokyo)
Forwards: Ryoichi Maeda (Jubilo Iwata), Shinji Okazaki (Stuttgart/GER), Mike Havenaar (Vitesse Arnhem/NED), Takashi Inui (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nuremberg/GER), Takashi Usami (Hoffenheim/GER)
Story first published on: Monday, 05 November 2012 14:35 IST