By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Itakura officially cleared to partake in AFC Cup

Borussia Mönchengladbach officially confirmed on Monday that defender Ko Itakura would be permitted to join up with the Japanese national team ahead of the coming AFC Asian continental championship. 
Considered a question mark for international duty at the coming AFC Asian continental championship, Borussia Möchengladbach defender Ko Itakura has now been officially cleared to play for the Japanese team. The 26-year-old, after initially reporting to Japanese trainer Hajime Moriyasu's camp earlier this month, returned to his German club team in order to tend to a persistent ankle injury.

Itakura took part in Gladbach's training sessions and also logged some minutes as a substitute in test fixture against Holland's Go Ahead Eagles Deventer. In a statement released on Monday, BMG sporting director Roland Virkus noted that the club's administrative team considered their player to be fit enough to partake in the upcoming competition.

"We wish Ko every success at the tournament," Virkus' statement read, "He passed the endurance test. We were therefore able to fulfil our obligation to release the player. The Asian Cup is a major tournament for the Asian nations - similar to the European Championships for the European nations. We therefore respect the Japanese association's wish to have Ko at this important competition."

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