LONDON - Latest Group E news ahead of the World Cup in South Africa which starts on June 11:
Japan midfielder Junichi Inamoto has been booked in for oxygen chamber sessions after limping out of a J-League game at the weekend with a muscle tear.
Desperate to play at the World Cup, midfielder Mitsuo Ogasawara, who has been at loggerheads with Japan coach Takeshi Okada, offered to pay for his own airfare to South Africa.
There was a return after a broken jaw for midfielder Kengo Nakamura while striker Yoshito Okubo donned a Batman-style mask to play at the weekend after shattering his nose.
Former JFA chief Saburo Kawabuchi called the national side boring and blamed them for failing to set pulses racing among Japan fans.
SV Hamburg striker Ruud van Nistelrooy is set to make his comeback in the Dutch squad, but he only intends rejoining if he is a serious contender for a starting place in South Africa.
While coach Bert van Marwijk worries about the fitness of his players increased this weekend, with John Heitinga and Rafael van der Vaart out for weeks respectively with an ankle and hamstring injury, Van Nistelrooy announced that he is fit and healthy.
"Based on my achievements it proves that I am fit and healthy this moment and already for a longer period" Van Nistelrooy was quoted as saying in Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf.
"I have had contact with the coach and he is following me, that is good to know, but I need to be of additional value if I join the squad at the World Cup. When that is not the case, I won't go."
Denmark's first-choice goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen is confident of making it to the World Cup despite suffering an elbow injury when his Stoke team went down 7-0 to Chelsea in the English Premier League on Sunday.
"I believe absolutely that I will be able to make it," he told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, basing his optimism on the fact that the elbow is not fractured.
"It's hanging on a thin thread but I will do everything to become fit," Sorensen told Danish sports website sporten.dk.
Among Danish national team hopefuls who earn their living in the German Bundesliga, Werder Bremen's Daniel Jensen and Wolfsburg's Thomas Kahlenberg got 17 and 8 minutes on the field respectively at the weekend - hardly enough to convince coach Morten Olsen, Ekstra Bladet said.
But central defender Bo Svensson played a full 90 minutes for Mainz and his prospects of making the squad are on the rise, the paper said.
Defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto said Cameroon have a good chance of doing well at the World Cup given the experience of their playing squad.
"We all play in the biggest leagues and there is no reason to feel inferior to countries like Brazil, Spain or France," the Tottenham fullback said in a interview with www.camfoot.com.
"We can do as well as the side of 1990," he added, in a reference to the run by Cameroon to a quarter-final place at the World Cup hosted by Italy.comments