Sun05272018

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Japan's Atsuto Uchida says his second season at Schalke has finally begun after injury return

Japan international Atsuto Uchida says he had no injury concerns during his comeback match after a thigh problem which had kept him out since September.Uchida started and played 77 minutes in Schalke's goalless home draw with AEK Larnaca on Thursday and told reporters after the game he felt fit."I could move better than I thought. I'd forgotten during the match that this was my comeback," Uchida said.

The Japanese defender, who joined Schalke from Kashima Antlers in June 2010, sustained the injury during club training in late September.Uchida, 23, has had a stop-start 2011-12 season, having only made three Bundesliga starts but said he felt recovering from the thigh injury was a new beginning for him."I feel like my second season (with Schalke) has finally started," he said.Uchida's return from injury is also timely for Japan ahead of next week's World Cup qualifiers against Tajikistan and North Korea.