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Nippon Ham’s Tanaka sidelined with broken finger

Kyodo

The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters said Friday that second baseman Kensuke Tanaka has been diagnosed with a fractured finger on his right hand requiring four weeks of recovery.

Tanaka is questionable for the season opener against the Seibu Lions at Sapporo Dome on March 25.

The 29-year-old Tanaka broke a bone in the tip of his ring finger on his right hand while trying to field ground balls in practice on Friday. He will return to Sapporo on Monday before undergoing another examination the following day.

“I would like to somehow make it in time for the season opener, but I won’t be playing in any exhibition games, so I can’t make any guarantees,” Tanaka said.

Nippon Ham manager Masataka Nashida, however, said he thinks his second baseman will be ready to go. “I think he’ll make it in time,” he said.

Last season, Tanaka played in 143 games for the Fighters, batting .335 with 34 stolen bases.