With the opening of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games just two months away, two pitchers who have to protect the national baseball team’s mound are groaning from injuries. There is a task to prove their health for the rest of the year.
The entry for the Hangzhou Asian 먹튀검증 Games baseball team, which will start on September 23 this year, was announced on the 9th of last month. Of the 24 players selected at the time, a total of 12 pitchers (3 left-handers and 9 right-handers) were selected.
Most players are still active, but some pitchers have disappeared from the first division. Left-hander Koo Chang-mo (26, NC Dinos) was also injured at the time of the announcement. He started the game against LG in Jamsil on June 2, but after dealing with only one batter, he felt uncomfortable and went down the mound.
NC Koo Chang-mo (right) is going down the mound due to an injury in the bottom of the first inning against LG in Jamsil on June 2.
Koo Chang-mo, who was diagnosed with fine damage to the flexor muscles of his left arm as a result of the examination at the time, was on the injured list (IL). Since then, he has spared no effort to recover quickly, such as moving to Japan, but was diagnosed with a left arm ulnar fatigue fracture at the end of June. In 2021, Koo Chang-mo underwent surgery due to problems in similar areas and lost the entire second half.
In a medical report released on the 24th, the NC club announced, “Koo Chang-mo received 70% recovery from a hospital examination on the 21st.” Having started arm strengthening exercises, he will soon undergo a re-examination at the hospital. As feared, it didn’t happen to get on the operating table. However, the timing of his return to the mound is still undecided.
On top of that, recently, another national team pitcher has left the battlefield. The Lotte Giants excluded right-hander Na Kyun-an (25) from the first-tier entry ahead of the Gwangju KIA match on the 30th. Originally likely to start on the day, he showed symptoms of a left hamstring sprain while training before the game on the 29th, and eventually was replaced by sidearm Han Hyun-hee (30), who threw 21 pitches as a relief in the game on the 28th, two days ago.
Lotte manager Larry Sutton (53) said about Na Kyun-an’s condition, “It’s not a ruptured hamstring, but a sprain. He explained, “I think I will leave for two to three weeks.” “I want to say I can come back quickly, but if I do that and come late, I’m in trouble. He declined to comment on the exact timing of his return, saying, “The exact time table did not come out.”
Previously, Na Kyun-an was excluded from the entry at the end of June due to inflammation of the inside of the right elbow. However, at the time, the club said, “After treatment for two to three days, training is possible,” and in fact, he returned to the first division immediately after filling only ten days, the minimum period, and continued pitching. However, it is expected that he will leave the battlefield for more than 10 days this time.
Both Koo Chang-mo and Na Kyun-an proved their abilities this season. Koo Chang-mo, who returned from a long injury and recorded 11 wins and a 2.10 ERA last year, is also recording a 3.26 ERA in nine games this year. Although he only won one game due to lack of luck, his record was improving little by little as the season progressed.
Na Kyun-an also caused a stir in his fourth year as a pitcher, reaching the monthly MVP (four wins, no losses, 1.34 ERA) in April this year. Since then, he has not been able to show the same force as in April, but he has continued to rotate until mid-June to support the Lotte mound.
If Koo Chang-mo and Na Kyun-an return to the mound within a month according to the best scenario, it is not a good situation. If the comeback is delayed even a little, there will be insufficient time to boost the actual pitching sense until the opening of the tournament, and it will affect the national team’s performance.
At the time of the announcement of the final list of the national team, Cho Gye-hyun, chairman of the Korea Baseball Organization’s (KBO) power reinforcement committee, said, “Some injured players were included, but all of them were minor in injury and they could fully recover and join in the remaining three months.” “If the injury is prolonged, it can be replaced until the day before the tournament, so it was discussed over the possibility,” he said. At this rate, along with Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes), who was recently diagnosed with damage to the left ankle extension zone (membrane surrounding the ankle tendon), the two players’ future will also enter the fog.