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Tokyo Yakult Swallows right-hander Shohei Tateyama is likely to miss the first half of the season after undergoing right elbow surgery on Wednesday, the Central League club said.

Tateyama, who returned from his third Tommy John surgery last June, is out for six weeks after he had loose bodies removed from his right elbow joint. The club, however, believes it will take more time for the side-armer to return to action.

Tateyama has a 9.90 ERA in two games this season and was removed from the active roster last Thursday, a day after allowing six runs over five innings against the Yomiuri Giants.

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