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|Arc||Sasuke Retrieval Arc|
While running errands for Tsunade, Izumo and Kotetsu find Sakura unconscious. They wake her up and she tells them about Sasuke's defection. They immediately inform Tsunade. Surprised that Orochimaru is making his move so soon, Tsunade has Shikamaru brought before her and tells him what has happened. Because the village is understaffed after Orochimaru's invasion of Konoha, Shikamaru and a genin team of his choosing are all that can be done to retrieve Sasuke. Tsunade recommends Naruto and Shikamaru insists on bringing Chōji. Naruto suggests that Shino would be preferable to Chōji, but Kiba informs them that Shino is away on a mission. He, however, volunteers. Lee overhears them and recommends Neji, Lee himself awaiting his surgery.