By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Ankle surgery likely ends Kozuki's season

FC Schalke 04 trainer Thomas Reis conveyed the unfortunate news at his Thursday presser that one of his dynamic young talents looks to be finished for the season after undergoing ankle surgery this week. 
After undergoing an MRI last week, Japanese winger winger Soichiro Kozuki went under the knife for corrective ankle surgery two days ago. The nature of the corrective ankle surgery threatened to end the season for the 22-year-old. S04 head-coach Thomas Reis confirmed as much during his Thursday presser.

"He came through the operation okay," Reis told members of the assembled media, "but a potential return this year will be very tight."

Promoted from the Schalke youth ranks during January camp, Kozuki immediately made a strong impression in the Schalke XI once play resumed in late January. The Japanese youth international scored his maiden Bundesliga goal in just his second start for the Schalke senior team. Though his presence has certainly been missed, Schalke have remained undefeated since Kozuki bowed out with injury after matchday 20.

Reis has found success with a variety of players working Kozuki's position on the right attacking flank. Most recently, Mehmet Can Aydin and Kenan Karaman performed exceptionally well in last round's 2-2 draw with regional rivals Borussia Dortmund. It does remain the case that the Schalke gaffer must do without two natural right-wingers at present. Both Tim Skarke and Dominick Drexler are still out injured.

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