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Hanshin’s star Akahoshi retires

Kyodo

Hanshin Tigers outfielder Norihiro Akahoshi called an end to his career on Wednesday, citing a potentially life-threatening spinal injury.

The 33-year-old experiences pain in his neck and lower back as well as numbness in his hands and feet.

“I resolved to retire after I realized that I cannot play baseball unless I am giving 100 percent of myself to the game,” he said.

Akahoshi was deactivated July 5 after sustaining a neck injury in a game against the Chunichi Dragons on June 30.

On Sept. 12, he aggravated a herniated disk and was later diagnosed with spinal damage after he dove headfirst in the rain in an attempt to catch Seiichi Uchikawa’s drive to right-center in a game against the Yokohama BayStars at Koshien Stadium.

He said he relives the scene in recurring dreams. “I see the scene in my dreams. As a baseball player you do that instinctively. I have no regrets about it.”