One of the most active players on the Lotte Giants roster, and the one that keeps opponents on their toes, is Hwang Sung-bin (26).
However, Hwang is currently on the second team instead of the first team. Last month, he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (near the peach bone) 메이저사이트 in his left ankle while playing first base. The back-to-back injuries, coupled with a finger injury earlier in the week, took away the engine for Lotte’s fast-paced baseball.
Lotte had been coping well with Hwang’s absence. However, the outfield is not the only one with injuries. As the condition of the players with pain worsened, the outfield depth weakened. While Jack Rex has been expunged due to a patellar tendon injury in his knee and is still playing in the first team, Ahn Kwon-soo is suffering from right elbow pain and needs constant management.
Hwang Sung-bin, who was injured on the 28th of last month, made his comeback game less than a month after being sidelined. His comeback was faster than expected. On the 23rd, he made his comeback in the Futures League against Sangmu as a designated hitter and went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. On the 24th, he started in left field and played six innings of defense.
Playing defense is a positive sign that his return is imminent. However, Hwang’s return is not expected to be immediate. “We’ll see how his body feels after today’s game, and then we’ll figure out what to do from there,” manager Larry Sutton said of the 25-year-old before the game against Sasak NC.
Sutton had already been trying to dampen Hwang’s motivation by telling him, “Let’s not rush, let’s stick to the program.” Sutton also considered the opponents of the three-game weekend series.
Lotte will play a three-game series against NC midweek and then travel to Gocheok Sky Dome for a three-game series on the 26th. The Gocheok Dome is currently the only artificial turf stadium among the nine clubs in Korea. Although it is artificial turf, it is hard to say that it is well maintained. The grass has become shorter and harder as it has been used as a baseball field and rented out for events. It is a field that is bound to strain your ankles, knees, and other legs.
For a player who runs a lot and is coming back from an ankle injury, it’s a tough environment. Sutton took this into consideration: “As you know, starting tomorrow we play a three-game series against Kiwoom. The Gochukdome is an indoor stadium with artificial turf. It can be difficult for a player with an ankle injury to play on an artificial pitch straight away. We are considering that as well,” he said, adding that it is unlikely that Hwang Sung-bin will return for the three-game series in Gocheok.