Hit from the first day of his return! 4th batter call-up. Now countdown. Will it be the energy for leading KIA

The return of Na Sung-bum, the fourth batter of the KIA Tigers, is gradually approaching.

Na Sung-bum played as the third designated hitter in a Futures League game against Sangmu held at Challengers Field in Hampyeong on Sunday. At his first at-bat in the game, Na garnered a hit in the middle to Sangmu starter Song Seung-ki, reporting his first hit as a return. Na hit a fly ball to center field in the bottom of the fourth inning and a fly ball to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning, before being replaced by Kwon Hyuk-kyung. He had one hit in three times at bat.스포츠토토

Na Sung-bum, who was injured while playing base running in an exhibition game against KT on April 17, has become increasingly concerned after he was found to have injured his hamstring (back thigh muscle). If he follows through the scheduled return procedures, he would most likely come back from late April to early May.

The participation in the Futures game is a sign that Na Sung-bum’s return is imminent.

Na Seong-beom had been training base running in the rehabilitation group until recently. As he was hurt while running base, he has to be cautious. Starting with light cycling early this month, Na is now carrying out step-by-step training including running by distance. Recently, he even stepped on the base and performed turning. He started verifying his performance, the final step toward returning to the first team.

He needs to prove that he has no problem in batting, especially playing in the Futures League games. Given that most of the first-tier hitters who were out due to injury usually play two to three games in the Futures League, Na is expected to take a similar step. Although no base running situation was created in the first game, the following games will likely create time to verify such situation.

However, there is also room for the verification period for actual matches to be shortened. “I don’t think I will have a long time to play the actual matches,” KIA manager Lee Bum-ho said. “I will call up if there is no problem in the training part (after playing in the Futures League), and I am okay with it.”

Kia has taken the lead on the back of its four consecutive wins in the season, and is maintaining its No. 1 position even toward the end of April. The strength of the batting lineup, which has no place to rest, the strength of the mound as the so-called “pitcher kingdom,” and the confidence and good atmosphere that have been added to the lead have laid the foundation for the team. However, accumulated fatigue in the process of maintaining the lead position for more than a month, and the batting cycle issue, which is overflowing like waves, are a cause of concern. The return of Na Sung-bum, who can serve as the troubleshooter as the center hitter, can be a great help to Kia. Attention is focusing on at what point he will make his name in the main league lineup.

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