Same one I have (mine's a 50), calf is really nice & thick
That's a bummer, but I definitely think a DR would work well for you. I feel like I'm seeing a lot more used TOJ MDRs pop up in smaller sizes around that price range lately, so you'll probably be able to snag one eventually.
Thankfully no damage to the leather; and that's a good recommendation @OccultaVexillum, their store is pretty close by where I live too. And if that doesn't return anything I might have to look at sending it somewhere to get it fixed, or gamble on a local tailor of some sort.