South Korean infielder Kang Jung-ho of the Pittsburgh Pirates will miss the rest of the season with a broken leg sustained on a hard slide by an opposing base runner, the Major League Baseball club announced Thursday, local time.
The Pirates said Kang underwent surgery at Allegheny General Hospital to repair a tibial plateau fracture with a lateral meniscal repair. The South Korean rookie, playing shortstop against the Chicago Cubs earlier in the day, was injured in the first inning when Chris Coghlan slid hard into Kang’s left leg to break up a double play at PNC Park.
Kang, who made a hard throw to first to complete the twin killing, went down in pain immediately, and was later helped off the field by trainer Ben Potenziano and interpreter H.K. Kim.
The recovery time is estimated at six to eight months.
The Pirates fell 9-6 for their third straight loss. At 87-59, the Buccos still hold down the first wild card spot in the National League and are on the verge of making the postseason for the third straight season.
Kang’s absence, however, will affect the Pirates’ depth in the lineup and on the left side of the infield. The 28-year-old has been one of the Pirates’ most productive hitters since the All-Star break, leading the team with a .310 batting average, a .548 slugging percentage, a 913 on-base plus slugging, 11 home runs, 14 doubles and 108 total bases. He’s also been hitting in the heart of the Pirates’ lineup for most of the second half. Read more