After a few days of fearing the worst about a possible injury to Seattle Reign FC midfielder Rumi Utsugi, some of those fears have dampened a bit. The team announced today that Utsugi will miss the next three to four weeks with a left calf strain.
Utsugi was injured during practice last week while she was away with the Japanese Women’s national team for a pair of friendlies during the FIFA break. She did not play in the first game against The Netherlands and was sent home before the game against Belgium.
She has appeared in all eight games — seven starts — so far this season. Utsugi is one of the team's most important players this season. She has an 85 percent pass completion rate, averages about 57 passes per game, and provides significant defensive cover.
It’s tough to replace a player that works like that all over the field. Beverly Yanez could take Rumi's spot on the field and then Katie Johnson would start up top where Bev would normally play.
Utsugi joined the Reign last season after she completed her contract with French side Montpellier HSC. She made seven appearances — six starts — last season for Seattle.
Looking ahead, it looks like she could miss as few as four games and as many as five. She for sure will miss this weekend’s clash with FC Kansas City. In an effort not to rush her back, also expect her to miss the June 24 match against FC Kansas City, June 28 match against the Orlando Pride, the July 1 match against the Portland Thorns FC, and July 8 match against North Carolina Courage.