Honda puts rehab first after failed Lazio move

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda has said he will not be rushed back into action by CSKA Moscow after knee surgery last year, local media reported on Tuesday.

"Running on it, it still feels like it will take a while (to fully recover)," said Honda, whose move to Italian Serie A side Lazio collapsed during the January transfer window.

"I need to do things at my own pace as much as possible," added the 25-year-old after joining his CSKA team mates at their training camp in Spain.

CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky wants Honda for the first leg of his side's Champions League last 16 tie at home to Real Madrid on Feb. 21 but that looks increasingly unrealistic.

Honda, who was linked with English clubs Liverpool and Arsenal before injuring his right knee, was philosophical about his failed move to Italy.

"If moaning about it would get me a move I would have a moan," said Honda, who helped Japan reach the last 16 of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"I know how important it is for me to focus on the things I need to do now."

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