• Kyodo

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Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami said Thursday he has pulled out of the Japan national team ahead of next month’s inaugural Premier 12 competition due to inflammation in his right shoulder.

Fujinami has been dealing with pain in the shoulder since last month and he said has been prohibited from throwing hard for two to three weeks after undergoing recent hospital tests.

“I’d like to have taken part (in the Premier 12) if my condition was good,” said the 21-year-old Fujinami.

“I have felt a bit more pain than this in my high school baseball days, but it has never dragged on this long and that concerns me.”

Yasuhiro Ogawa, 25, of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows will replace Fujinami on the Samurai Japan roster for the Premier 12, which is being held in Taiwan and Japan from Nov. 8-21.

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