Na Sung-beom has been ruled out of the opening game

The KIA Tigers have been dealt a blow as they prepare to open the season. Pitcher Na Sung-beom (36) has been ruled out of the opening game due to a thigh injury.

Na Sung-beom underwent a thigh examination at Chonnam National University Hospital on the afternoon of the 18th. He felt discomfort in his thigh while running from second to third base in the third inning of the Gwangju game against KT Wiz the previous day. He was diagnosed with a right hamstring muscle injury. It was a recurrence of the injury from last year. He will be examined again in two weeks to determine when he can return. He will not be able to participate in the opening game.

Na Sung-beom’s 2023 season also ended with an injury that kept him out of the opening game. He participated in the WBC but suffered a left calf injury and was sidelined for more than two months after being diagnosed with fascia damage. He returned in late June and led the batting lineup with a monster 1.098 OPS. However, in early September, in the midst of a five-way battle, he suffered a right hamstring injury while playing first base, ending his season prematurely.

He recovered from the hamstring injury during the off-season.

Served as captain and led the team from the front. Successfully completed the first camp in Canberra, Australia and the second camp in Okinawa. Expected to be a solid No. 4 hitter this year. “I’m in better shape than ever. I promised myself that I would play 80% of the games rather than sprinting for fear of injury,” he said.

However, a sudden injury forced him to start the season on the rehabilitation track once again. His absence will greatly weaken the KIA batting lineup, 안전놀이터 which is considered to be one of the strongest in the league. Na was set to form the center of the batting order with Choi Hyung-woo and Socrates. With his precise batting, he was the centerpiece of the batting lineup that would solve the chances created by Park Chan-ho, Choi Won-joon, and Kim Do-young. It was inevitable that the scoring would drop.

For now, Choi Hyung-woo is expected to bat fourth. In the outfield, Lee Chang-jin, who is classified as a backup, will likely fill the void. There will also be changes in the outfield. First baseman Lee Woo-sung could move back to the outfield. However, it will be difficult to completely fill the gap left by Na Sung-beom, putting a red light on Kia’s championship path. Manager Lee Bum-ho, who was worried about injuries to his players, also prepared for the opening game with anxiety.

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