Choi Ji-man to join minors as knee rehab continues
The Tampa Bay Rays are planning to send first baseman Choi Ji-man to the minors, the club said Monday, as the next step in his ongoing rehabilitation from knee surgery.
Choi underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in March, missing part of spring training and the start of the 2021 season.
Choi struggled with knee pain since the beginning of spring training, ultimately sitting out ten days in mid-March. After a brief stint back with the team at the end of March, Choi was taken out of commission and underwent surgery.
Choi will start to get some at-bats this week with the Rays' alternate training site team, as the minor league baseball season is yet to begin. From next week he is expected to join the Triple A Durham Bulls.
“We’ll be kind of managing his workload ...,” Rays manager Kevin Cash was quoted as saying by the Tampa Bay Times. “He didn’t have a spring training, so saying that, we’re going to look to get him ... somewhere around that 30 [at-bats] number."
If Choi is able to return to form quickly, he could be looking at rejoining the Rays as early as the second week of May, when the Florida club has a home stand against the New York Yankees starting May 12.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]