Kim Kwang-hyun is already preparing to return to the moundSt. Louis Cardinals' Korean pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun is back throwing in his home stadium as he recovers from a kidney ailment that left him hospitalized over the weekend in Chicago.
St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said Tuesday that Kim has thrown at Busch Stadium in St. Louis over the past two days and that the left-handed pitcher will meet with medical staff in the coming days to see how far he has come along. The club is hoping Kim will be able to throw a bullpen session this week.
"Every day he gets a little stronger, builds back up and has energy and has ability to take that next step," Shildt said. "[We will] continue to evaluate him and make sure he can progress and everything's in the right spot. But so far so good.”
Kim experienced abdominal pain Friday morning while in Chicago with the rest of the team for a road trip and was taken to the emergency room at a local hospital. He was diagnosed with renal infarction, caused by a blockage of blood flow to a kidney.
Kim was scheduled to start Sunday's game against the Chicago Cubs but was instead placed on the 10-day injured list. The Cardinals remain optimistic that he will rejoin the rotation as soon as he isn't susceptible to bleeding or bruising — since he's on blood thinners.
As a big league rookie with 13 seasons from the KBO under his belt, Kim has been one of the Cardinals' most reliable starters. He has a 0.44 ERA in four starts, and hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 17 innings.