Brighton winger Mitoma set to miss remainder of season

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Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma is expected to miss the remainder of this season with a back injury.

The 26-year-old Japan international was absent from Brighton’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Everton due to this concern.

Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi has confirmed that Mitoma’s season is likely concluded due to the injury.

“It’s an important problem. I think two or three months, [so] finished [for] the season,” said De Zerbi before Wednesday’s FA Cup clash with Wolves.

“It’s the back injury which kept him out against Everton.”

After an impressive performance last season for the Seagulls, helping them qualify for the Europa League for the first time, Mitoma’s current campaign has been somewhat disrupted by injuries.

Towards the end of 2023, he suffered an ankle injury that sidelined him for a month, causing him to miss most of Japan’s Asia Cup campaign. He made a return as a substitute for their last two matches before Japan was eliminated in the semi-finals by Iran.

Brighton, who are still competing in the Europa League and FA Cup and are currently in seventh place in the Premier League, are also dealing with other injury concerns.

De Zerbi confirmed that strikers Evan Ferguson and Joao Pedro will be unavailable for the fifth round FA Cup tie at Molineux, while defender Joel Veltman and forward Danny Welbeck are set for late fitness assessments.