Fighters’ Inaba to have surgery on left knee


Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters first baseman Atsunori Inaba will have surgery to clean out damaged cartilage in his ailing left knee, the team’s trainer said Sunday.

The Fighters’ captain, who was deactivated on April 5, is expected to be sidelined from five to six weeks.

Inaba, 41, has been training with the top team since being removed from the roster. He has been taking batting practice and playing catch, but has complained of pain when running the bases.

“This was the choice I felt was the best,” said Inaba, who has only appeared in two games this season. “Since I am spending every day feeling uneasy, I thought it best for myself and the team that I return feeling refreshed.”

Inaba has a career 2,171 hits with 258 home runs and a .286 batting average.