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Soccer: Keisuke Honda out for a month with hamstring injury

Keisuke Honda, center, of Melbourne Victory celebrates after scoring a memorable goal during the first half of his A-League debut match against Melbourne City at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, on Oct. 20, 2018. (Kyodo)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Keisuke Honda will be out of the Melbourne Victory lineup for a month after scans revealed the Japanese star has a strained right hamstring.

Victory on Thursday said Honda's injury resulted from previous issues with his lower back. He was a late withdrawal from A-League matches for the past two weeks, but after consulting specialists, he returned to training in a bid to face Western Sydney on Saturday.

But the 32-year-old midfielder sustained a fresh injury on Tuesday.

The loss of Honda is a setback for the second-place Victory, who have drawn their past two matches without their marquee player after winning six in a row in the Australian league.

The former AC Milan player co-leads the Victory with five goals this season, is tied for second in the league with assists (three), and also leads the club in chances created (21).

Honda played 98 matches for Japan, retiring from international play after last year's World Cup in Russia.

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