The two injuries sustained by Mito in last Saturday's game have proven to be more serious than only affecting that game.
Striker Nishino suffered a broken chest plate due to a Kusatsu head butt and will be out for almost one month, missing 4 games... 4 games that Mito could otherwise have played quite competitively. With luck he could return in time for a true hell week as far as J2 soccer goes... The last week of June features Kyoto on Sunday, Sendai on Wednesday, and Fukuoka on Saturday.
Defender Owada, on the other hand, doesn't look lucky enough to make any more games this season. After a nasty Kusatsu tackle, he limped off the field under his own powere, yet later found the injuries to be incredibly severe. His right main hamstring and quadricep tendons snapped and he is listed to be ready for play in about seven months... He would need an uncomplicated recovery just to make the beginning of practice sessions in 2008.
This brings the number of injured starters to 5, including the 3 main defenders, in addition to other injured reserves. The last two injuries not only add more burden to an already thinned roster, but take away the two most consistent, experienced, and important players of the past two seasons. To most teams, this happening would be tragic. To Mito this is perhaps unbearable. The cynical fans have suggested buying out the contracts of an entire JFL team to field as starters, but obviously this route will not be taken. One can only hope the hungry subs looking to show their value can inject new life and surprises into the games, and players like Ohashi, the two Kims, Shino, and of course Edinaldo can take the field for enough experience to become competitive in the second half of the season.