Choi Ji-man Won't Play in World Baseball Classic

  • By Jung Byung-sun

    February 07, 2023 13:56

    Choi Ji-man /Newsis
    Choi Ji-man of the Pittsburgh Pirates is unable to play for the World Baseball Classic in March, the Korea Baseball Organization said Monday.
    The KBO said Choi has been excluded from the final roster of the quadrennial event as the Pirates objected to his participation because he recently had surgery.
    Choi had surgery to remove a bone fragment from his right elbow in November.
    Since rehabilitation takes eight to 12 weeks, it would not have been impossible for him to participate in the tournament, but the Pirates said there is a risk of recurrence and he needs time to adjust to the team after he was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays in November.
    The KBO said it decided to include Choi Ji-hoon of the SSG Landers in the roster to replace him.
    This year's WBC has been expanded from 16 to 20 teams with qualifying events in different venues in Japan, Taiwan and the U.S. Four groups consisting of five countries play in a round-robin format, with the top two from each group advancing to the next round.
    Korea, led by manager Lee Kang-chul, is grouped with Australia, China, the Czech Republic and Japan. It will have its WBC opener against Australia in Japan on March 9 and face the other three in the following days.
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