The KIA Tigers have been hit with a major injury blow, losing first Na Sung-beom (34) and then Choi Hyung-woo (40).
Choi Hyung-woo started the game against the KT Wiz in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on April 24, batting fourth and going 2-for-3. He had back-to-back hits in the fourth and seventh innings, but suffered a major injury in the seventh inning and was replaced by pinch-hitter Park Chan-ho.토토사이트
Choi Hyung-woo led off the seventh inning with Kia trailing 0-1, and second baseman Park Kyung-soo, who was on a defensive shift, almost caught Choi’s hard-hit ball on a straight line, but couldn’t quite make the catch. Choi sprinted to first base, and Park quickly retrieved the dropped ball and threw to first.
The first baseman, Park Byung-ho, was in such a hurry to receive Park’s throw that he failed to properly position himself at first base and tripped Choi Hyung-woo with his outstretched foot. Choi was ruled safe, but he was unable to get off the ground for a long time and was eventually taken to the hospital by ambulance.
After undergoing an X-ray examination at Gudanjeong Hospital (Sunhan Hospital), Choi was diagnosed with a fractured left collarbone. He will undergo a second examination at Sejong Orthopedic Center in Seoul on the 25th, but is likely to be out for at least three weeks. Considering the recovery and rehabilitation period, it is unlikely that he will be able to play the rest of the season.
The Tigers are fighting for a postseason berth this season. They are one game behind fifth-place SSG (64 wins, two draws, and 61 losses) and one game behind sixth place (61 wins, two draws, and 61 losses), but they have a lot of games left, so they can still qualify for the postseason on their own.
However, a string of injuries has made many of those remaining games more of a crisis than an opportunity. KIA has already lost Na Sung-beom, who was hitting .306 with 18 homers, 57 RBIs and a 1.098 OPS in 58 games (222-for-81) this season, to a hamstring injury against LG on April 19.
He was diagnosed with a 10- to 12-week rehabilitation period and is out for the season. The injury is especially unfortunate considering that he was unable to play his first game of the season until June due to a left calf injury before the season started.
In addition, Choi Hyung-woo, who was the best player on the team, batting .332 (130-for-431) with 17 home runs, 81 RBIs, and an .887 OPS in 121 games, will no longer be able to play due to injury. Losing the team’s top home run hitter and top RBI hitter at the same time is a huge loss for KIA.
KIA is just 1-9 in its last 10 games. The team’s performance has been on a downward spiral, and the team has been hit with a series of major injuries.
It’s a tough situation, but they’re not ready to give up on their postseason hopes just yet. KIA has a seven-game series starting on the 26th, including a doubleheader against NC, followed by four games against Kiwoom and two against SSG. It will be interesting to see how KIA will overcome the crisis.