FUKUOKA – Fukuoka Softbank Hawks left fielder and cleanup hitter Seiichi Uchikawa has suffered two broken ribs and will miss the Japan Series, the Pacific League club revealed Saturday.
Uchikawa suffered the injury after chasing a foul ball in the field seats at Yafuoku Dome in Game 1 of the PL Climax Series final stage and will need three weeks to make a complete recovery.
According to Tomihisa Arai, the Hawks’ chief trainer, Uchikawa had been able to play hurt during the PLCS, and had his injury examined after the Hawks booked their Japan Series spot.
He took part in Friday’s practice, but the pain increased that night and he had it re-examined at a local hospital on Saturday.
“It hurts when I move. I can’t run so I can’t play,” said Uchikawa said on Saturday as he left the stadium ahead of the first game of the series.
Hawks manager Kimiyasu Kudo said, “It is a minus (for the team) but we have to think about his future baseball career. We have to plan without him.”
A veteran of two World Baseball Classics and one of two players to win a batting championship in both the PL and the Central League, Uchikawa sparked the Hawks to a sweep of the Chiba Lotte Marines. He drove in the winning run in all three games and was named the PLCS MVP.
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