Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang has joined the Pirates in St. Louis and is likely to come off the disabled list on Friday before the start of a three-game series with the Cardinals.
After 71/2 months, a complicated surgical procedure to correct an injury akin to one found after a car wreck and tedious rehab, Jung Ho Kang is coming back.
It appears likely that Kang will rejoin the Pirates’ roster prior to the beginning of their series against the St. Louis Cardinals, which starts Friday at Busch Stadium. The Pirates optioned corner infielder Jason Rogers to Class AAA Indianapolis Thursday.
The Pirates have not announced anything. Rogers’ demotion appeared on the team’s official transactions page. Kang’s promotion appeared on Francisco Cervelli’s Instagram account, where he posted a picture of him and Kang together on the team bus.
Kang last appeared in a Major League game on September 17th, 2015 versus the Chicago Cubs when he and Chris Coghlan collided at second base when Coghlan was trying to break up a double play. It was on that night Kang underwent surgery on his broken leg by a trauma surgeon, with the timetable of recovery being six-plus months.
After 7 1/2 months of recovery, it looks like Jung Ho Kang will be back this weekend for a Pirates team entering a big early series against a divisional rival.
The 29-year-old Kang exceeded everyone’s expectations in 2015 after he batted .287/.355/.461 with 15 home runs and 61 runs batted in over 126 games and 467 plate appearances.
Brink also notes that the Pirates will ease Kang back into the swing of things as David Freese will still get plenty of reps at third base until the Pirates feel that Kang is fully ready to return to his full-time role.
Kang had been rehabbing with the Pirates Triple-A affiliate the Indianapolis Indians. He went 6-for-40 with one home run and five runs batted in during his rehab assignment.
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