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Eagles skipper Hoshino returns to team

Kyodo

Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles manager Senichi Hoshino was back in uniform on Thursday for the first time in two months after having surgery.

Hoshino, 67, took a leave of absence from the club in May and has since had surgery to repair a herniated disc and correct a condition that affects his thoracic vertebrae. He rejoined the Eagles, who are currently last in the Pacific League, for practice ahead of their three-game series at Kobo Stadium.

As a result of surgery and treatment, Hoshino lost 7 kg.

“It feels like the weight of a barbell has been lifted from my shoulders,” he said. “When the team rises to the top of the standings, then I’ll be completely recovered.”

The skipper joked about why he had not met with the media during his prolonged absence by saying he had been attending soccer’s World Cup.

“Brazil was far away, but I went to see Japan play even if they lost,” Hoshino said.