Kia Tigers infielder Kim Do-young will return to the team in time for the 2024 season opener. After suffering an untimely injury with the national team, Kim went into the offseason with his hand in a sling. He was unable to join the team at the beginning of spring training, but was determined to return as soon as possible.토토사이트

Kim severely injured his left thumb while attempting a head-first slide in the final game of the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) between Korea and Japan. Kim was diagnosed with a torn medial collateral ligament of the left thumb metacarpophalangeal joint and an avulsion fracture after a medical examination upon his return home. It was a major injury that required ligament sutures and a four-month rehabilitation period.

“When I saw the footage of (Kim) getting hurt, I was more upset. I feel bad because I used to do head-first sliding and I saw him get hurt and I still did it. I was the same way, and I didn’t realize it until I got hurt. He’s not going to do it (head-first sliding) again. I hope he recovers quickly because what’s done is done,” said senior Park Chan-ho.

After watching Kim suffer a long-term injury while running the bases in the opening series of the 2023 season, KIA head coach Kim Jong-guk was not happy to see the injury strike again.

“It’s his first time playing for the national team, so I think he played with a lot of passion without realizing it. Head-first sliding is too risky. He should realize that now and refrain from such plays,” Kim sighed.

On December 1, at the 2023 Real Glove Awards hosted by the Korea Professional Baseball Players Association, Kim Do-young said, “I was scolded by my coaches. I will never do a head-first slide to first base until I die,” he said, adding, “At the time of the APBC finals, I felt like I shouldn’t die, so I did it without realizing it. I thought I wasn’t going to get hurt, but I did. I felt even more sad because I couldn’t go to the national team and got injured.”

Still, Kim’s first experience with the national team motivated her to step up her game.

“It was a time when I realized I wasn’t good enough because I was playing against high-level opponents. I had a good experience. It was fun to play against Korea and Japan, and the players gained a lot. Of course, personally, I am very disappointed that my record was not good. Lately, I’ve been seeing pictures of the APBC tournament on social media, but I feel like I’m having a bad day and getting PTSD (laughs). It was a shame that I couldn’t win against Korea and Japan,” he said.

In fact, it’s not easy to join next year’s spring camp, but Kim aims to return to the first team in time for the opening game.

“I have about three stitches out, and I plan to get the rest out next week. Then I’ll switch to a lighter cast. I won’t be able to join the team at the beginning of spring training, but I’ll make sure to be back in time for the opening game next year. I think I’m done with injuries for this year, and I hope that all of my teammates, including myself, will have an injury-free year next year. And lastly, I want to say that I’m rooting for my brother Chan-ho (Park) to win the Golden Glove.”

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