Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga has said he will require at least a full week of outdoor training before he can resume league matches at his Japanese team.

The Kashiwa Reysol star striker is among hundreds of professional footballers affected after Japan’s top-flight football league, commonly referred to as the J-League, suspended matches last month following the outbreak of coronavirus globally.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a month-long state of emergency on April 8 and announced that everyone should remain indoors during that period.

So pending government approval, J-League chairman Mitsuru Murai has set May 30 as the tentative date of return to competition for J-League.

“It has been tough,” Olunga told Nation Sport on Sunday on phone from Japan.

“I can only practice indoors, especially in the gym plus a bit of jogging. I have lost form as a result and will need a bit of pre-season to get back to fitness and be ready to play.”


Olunga also explained that the unexpected break from playing football had affected his season targets both at club and national team level.

“I had scored against Gamba Osaka in the J-Cup and then scored in the first league match of the season and then the games were stopped. With that form, I was looking to be among the top scorers in the league here and also positively influence the (2021 Africa) Nations Cup qualifiers.

“It is the first thing I am experiencing this and already miss playing football.”

Japan has so far reported 13,000 positive coronavirus cases including attacker Gotoku Sakai who is attached to J-League side Vissel Kobe, and 386 deaths.

With only one round of matches out of a possible 34 played, there have been proposals to compete in only one-legged fixtures considering the season can only be considered complete if a team plays in atleast 50 percent of matches.


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