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Tigers deactivate second baseman Nishioka

Kyodo

Hanshin Tigers second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka was deactivated Tuesday for the first time this season with pain in his left knee.

Tigers manager Yutaka Wada said he is unsure when Nishioka, who hit himself with a ball while batting in a July 14 game against the Yokohama BayStars, will be back in the lineup. He has missed two games since returning from the All-Star break.

“When he plays it just gets worse, so I decided he needs some time (to rest it),” said Wada. “He’ll aim for the earliest comeback (of 10 days), but I have to determine when his condition is improving.”

Nishioka, who returned to Japanese baseball this season after playing in just 71 games over two seasons for the Minnesota Twins, is batting .275 with three home runs and 28 RBIs in 82 games in the leadoff spot for the Tigers. He will start a rehab assignment with the farm club on Wednesday.

Wada also said the same day that lefty Daiki Enokida was removed from the active roster due to discomfort in his pitching elbow.