Softbank’s Kokubo out indefinitely


The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks’ record-chasing slugger Hiroki Kokubo said Friday that he could be out for an extended period because of a herniated disc, with surgery a possibility down the line.

The 40-year-old Kokubo, who had been scheduled to rejoin the team on Tuesday, is one hit away from a career total of 2,000, but has no idea when he will be able to restart his chase.

“I don’t know when I can come back,” said Kokubo, who was deactivated on May 25. “There isn’t even a timetable on when I can begin my rehab. All I can do right now is take my shots and rest up.

“Surgery is an option.”

Kokubo said he won’t be cleared to exercise for at least another week, and will be re-examined in two weeks. The Hawks’ captain will also need time to get himself into game shape after the rehabilitation work is complete.