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Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters ace Shohei Otani said Monday he is making progress with the tender right ankle that is keeping him out of the World Baseball Classic.

Following Sunday’s day off, Otani began picking up the volume of his running and the intensity as he ran from foul pole to foul pole at the Fighters’ spring camp in Arizona.

“It’s a distance I can manage. I’m perfectly fine,” said Otani, who had only been running half that distance. “Basically, it’s getting better every day.”

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