Japanese home run king Sadaharu Oh left Keio University Hospital on Thursday after an extended rehabilitation following an operation to remove his stomach earlier in the year.
The 66-year-old Oh underwent surgery on July 17 after he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The manager of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks was originally released from the hospital in early August but returned several days later after having trouble digesting food.
“I have come to terms with the fact that I have no stomach, and being able to take food properly has been a lot more difficult than I expected,” Oh said.
Oh, who played for the Yomiuri Giants, holds Japan’s career record of 868 home runs. He set the season mark of 55 homers in 1964, a mark later tied by foreign players Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera in 2001 and 2002, respectively.
Later, as a manager, Oh led the Hawks to Japan Series championships in 1999 and 2003, when they were known as the Daiei Hawks. He also led Japan to the title in this year’s inaugural World Baseball Classic.
Despite his initial hopes to return to the Hawks’ home ground in Fukuoka before the end of the season, Oh said he needs a little more time to regain strength.