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Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters two-way star Shohei Otani, who is nursing an ankle injury, on Tuesday faced a batting practice pitcher for the first time since spring training in Arizona opened a week ago, showing further signs of recovery.

Otani spent 20 minutes swinging at quality pitches in the cage after being limited to tee ball and soft toss hitting drills due to the right ankle injury that is keeping him out of next month’s World Baseball Classic and most likely the Fighters’ season opener as well.

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