Albirex Niigata announced on Friday that defender Michael James Fitzgerald will need three to four weeks to recover from injury.

The 26-year-old sustained the injury in his side’s opening day loss at Sagan Tosu on March 7.

Fitzgerald, who made three appearances for New Zealand’s national team, acquired Japanese citizenship in 2013.

He has made 47 appearances for Albirex since returning to the club permanently from a series of loans in August 2013.

The stopper’s return will be a timely boost for coach Masaaki Yanagishita, given the outfit currently sit 15th in the league with just one point from two matches.