Japan Winger Kaoru Mitoma Could Miss Rest of Season for Brighton Because of Back Injury

Nick Potts/PA via AP
Sheffield’s Jayden Bogle, left, and Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma challenge for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Sheffield United and Brighton and Hove Albion at Bramall Lane stadium, Sheffield, England, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024.

BRIGHTON, England (AP) — Japan winger Kaoru Mitoma is expected to miss the rest of the season for English club Brighton because of a back injury.

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi said Tuesday that Mitoma was set to be out for two or three months.

“Finished (for) the season,” said De Zerbi, who was speaking ahead of Brighton’s FA Cup match at Wolverhampton on Wednesday.

Brighton has been drawn to play Roma in the Europa League’s round of 16 and is in seventh place in the Premier League as the team bids to qualify for European competition for a second straight season.

Mitoma has recently returned from playing in the Asian Cup and has also missed a chunk of the season because of an ankle injury.

“It’s a bad, bad situation,” De Zerbi said.