Soccer

Kaoru Mitoma set to miss rest of season with back injury

Evan Ferguson and Joel Veltman will also miss the trip to Wolves.

Kaoru Mitoma could miss the rest of the season
Kaoru Mitoma Kaoru Mitoma could miss the rest of the season (John Walton/PA)

Brighton have suffered a blow with the news that Kaoru Mitoma is expected to miss the rest of the season.

The Japan winger, who has lit up the Amex Stadium for much of the last two campaigns, has suffered a back injury which could leave him on the sidelines for three months.

He has already missed a chunk of the season due to an ankle injury and his participation in the Asia Cup.

Mitoma’s prolonged absence will be a big blow in the Seagulls’ quest for a top-six finish in the Premier League, their Europa League campaign – where they play Roma in the last 16 – and their FA Cup challenge, which continues at Wolves on Wednesday.

Roberto De Zerbi faced the press on Tuesday
Roberto De Zerbi Roberto De Zerbi faced the press on Tuesday (Joe Giddens/PA)

Boss Roberto De Zerbi said at a press conference to preview the trip to Molineux: “It’s a bad, bad situation. It’s the back injury which kept him out against Everton (at the weekend). It’s an important problem. I think two or three months, (so) finished (for) the season.”

The Seagulls will also be without Evan Ferguson (ankle) and Joel Veltman, while Danny Welbeck is a doubt and Billy Gilmour is suspended.

“Ferguson tomorrow, he can’t play,” De Zerbi added. “Welbeck has a problem and we have to make a check.

“Veltman as well can’t play and the other players injured can’t play.”