KT’s Kang in surgery after cut from Sajik fence

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KT’s Kang in surgery after cut from Sajik fence

KT Wiz’s All-Star outfielder Kang Baek-ho underwent surgery on his right hand Wednesday, a day after hurting it on a piece of metal sticking out at a road stadium.

Kang, the reigning Rookie of the Year in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), suffered a deep cut in his right hand after making a catch in foul territory on the right field during Tuesday’s game against the Lotte Giants at Sajik Stadium in Busan, 450 kilometers (280 miles) southeast of Seoul.

As his momentum carried him to the fence, Kang put his right, non-glove hand forward to slow himself. But the hand ended up catching the sharp metal piece holding down the safety netting, and Kang immediately turned and went down to his knees in apparent pain.

He called for help and was soon lifted from the game, with blood seeping through a bandage.

The Wiz said Kang has a 5-centimeter (2-inch) cut on his right palm and sustained muscle damage as well. He was reevaluated in Seoul and had successful surgery later Wednesday, and the Wiz said Kang will be sidelined for three to four weeks.

Kang was the overwhelming winner of the top rookie award last year after leading all freshmen with 29 home runs - one shy of the all-time rookie record - and 84 RBIs, while putting up a robust .290/.356/.524 line. He also scored 108 runs.

This year, Kang is batting .339/.418/.490 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs in 78 games. He is fourth in the KBO in batting average and on-base percentage.

The 19-year-old is leading all outfielders in All-Star votes for the Dream Team, which will be made up of players from the Wiz, Giants, SK Wyverns, Samsung Lions and Doosan Bears. Kang was an All-Star reserve last year and was in line to make his first start.

The Giants said they “regret” Kang’s injury, and they will immediately address safety issues at Sajik Stadium.

“We’ll deliver an apology to Kang Baek-ho, and we wish him a speedy recovery,” the Giants said.

Earlier in the day, the Giants’ maintenance crew covered up sharp objects at the end of the netting on the first base and third base sides with padding.

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