KIA Tigers’ Park Chan-ho has been injured.
KIA head coach Kim Jong-kook announced the injury of Park Chan-ho on Wednesday before the team’s 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against the Lotte Giants at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju.
Park entered the batter’s box with one out in the fifth inning against Daegu Samsung Electronics on Sept. 12. After hitting a grounder to shortstop, he sprinted to first base and made a head-first slide, injuring his finger in the process. Park was replaced by pinch-hitter Lee Chang-jin in the seventh inning and finished the game.
A medical examination on the 13th revealed a damaged ligament in the fourth finger of his left hand. He will need about three weeks of treatment.
Manager Kim Jong-kook said, “(Park) Chan-ho said, ‘It’s not bad enough to have surgery, so I can play pinch-hitting or defense.’ I don’t think we have anyone better than Chan-ho, so I’m keeping him on the roster. However, it will be difficult for him to start for the time being.” “We need to check his finger through treatment and rest. The training department will take care of it,” Kim said, adding, “We’ll do pogo and running together. When I can hit, I will proceed slowly and step by step.”
Park Chan-ho was having a career-high season this year. He played in all 115 games for KIA. He batted .302 (414-for-125) with three home runs, 48 RBI, 64 runs scored, and 29 stolen bases. Defensively, he was an anchor at shortstop, playing 962⅓ innings (13 errors). He also played three innings at second base (one error).
That’s why his manager is disappointed. “I told him not to slide head-first at first base,” Kim said, “but with video replay, it’s possible to make an accurate call even if you don’t slide. You can slide in a hurry or without realizing it, but there are too many cases of serious injuries. In the major leagues, head-first sliding at first base is even considered taboo.”스포츠토토
Instead of Park Chan-ho, Kim Do-young was given the leadoff spot. Kim is batting .302 (68-for-225) with five home runs and 34 RBIs on the season. In his last 10 games, he’s also batting .317 (13-for-41).
“I just need to keep doing what I’m doing,” Kim said. Regardless of the batting order, I just want him to focus on fighting the pitcher and getting on base,” Kim said. “He’s also improved mentally. He’s doing a good enough job right now.”
KIA’s starting lineup was Kim Do-young (shortstop), Lee Woo-sung (right fielder), Na Sung-beom (designated hitter), Choi Hyung-woo (left fielder), Kim Sun-bin (second baseman), Socrates (center fielder), Hwang Dae-in (first baseman), Kim Tae-gun (catcher), and Choi Jung-yong (third baseman). The starting pitcher is Yang Hyun-jong.