Choi Ji-man (32, Pittsburgh Pirates), who was looking for a sense of hitting after overcoming sluggishness at the beginning of the season, stopped due to an injury. He has been struggling with injuries for the past few years.
On the 20th (Korean time), the Pittsburgh club updated the degree of injury to its players and reported the news of Choi Ji-man’s left Achilles tendon injury.
Choi Ji-man had already suffered from an Achilles tendon sprain since the spring camp, but he only recently withdrew from the team after enduring the pain.
In the future, Choi Ji-man will wear walking boots to protect his ankle and devote himself to rehabilitation for about 8 weeks. He will resume his light activities later as his recovery progresses.스포츠토토
Choi Ji-man, who was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to Pittsburgh after last season, was suffering from extreme sluggishness with a batting average of 0.053 (1 hit in 19 at-bats) in the first 6 games of this season.
Still, he was gradually improving his hitting feeling by hitting two home runs in the last three games, but a sudden injury put a brake on his upward trend.
Choi Ji-man, who was first promoted to the big leagues from the Los Angeles Angels in 2016, was recognized for his skills by hitting double-digit homers every year except for 2020 for five seasons from 2018 to last year.
However, during this process, he was also injured and suffered from evil spirits.
He injured his left ankle in July 2019 while at Tampa Bay, and in September 2020 injured his left hamstring during a run base game.
In 2021, he even underwent surgery for a right knee injury prior to the exhibition game, and was later placed on the injured list (IL) three times, including a series of groin and hamstring injuries.
And at the end of April of last year, he injured his right elbow, and after playing with pain throughout the season, he underwent bone fragment removal surgery at the end of the season. As a result, he was unable to participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC).
Choi Ji-man, who left only one season to acquire free agent (FA) qualification in his 7th year in the big leagues, tried to bounce back this year after recovering from an elbow injury, but faced injury again.
It is fortunate that he avoided the surgery, but as the timing is too early, Choi Ji-man cannot help but feel this injury greatly.
As Choi Ji-man’s injury continued, negative reports began to appear locally that his successful free agent contract would be difficult.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said, “There is little chance that Choi Ji-man, who will qualify as a free agent after the end of the season, will return to the team.”
Currently, Pittsburgh is running third in the National League Central Division, breaking expectations. It is only two games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers.
In this process, hitters with one shot, such as Jack Swinsky and Andrew McCutchen, are doing their part, so only Choi does not feel a big gap.
Choi Ji-man is in a situation where the frustration will increase, but he has no choice but to forget about the past and proceed with rehabilitation steadily to show off his skills after returning.