Cincinnati Reds center fielder Choo Shin-soo hits a two-run home run in the second inning. (AFP-Yonhap News)
Former major league All-Star Choo Shin-soo will report to his second South Korean baseball spring training behind schedule following an offseason elbow operation, an official with the club said Wednesday.
Choo, the veteran outfielder and designated hitter for the SSG Landers, had surgery on his left elbow in November in the United States, trying to fix ligament damage that had compromised him as an outfielder late last season. The Landers will open camp Monday, and the team official said Choo will try to get his final medical clearance in the US in early February before reporting to the team in the middle of the month.
After 16 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), Choo signed a one-year deal with the Landers just before the start of the 2021 Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) season.
The 2018 American League All-Star for the Texas Rangers played in 137 out of 144 games in his first KBO season, and batted .265/.409/.451 with 21 home runs, 25 steals and 103 walks. At 39, he became the oldest player in KBO history to join the 20-20 club. He tied for third in the league in walks and sixth in on-base percentage.
Despite whispers that he would retire after one year in his native land or try to return to the majors, Choo signed a new one-year contract with the Landers in November.
Choo is expected to be the Landers' primary designated hitter in the first half of the new season before returning to the outfield. (Yonhap)