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Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s injured Pacific League MVP Shohei Otani will make his first appearance of the spring in a March 11 instructional league game as designated hitter, Fighters manager Hideki Kuriyama said Tuesday.

“Based on what I saw today, he looks OK to go,” Kuriyama said of his two-way star, speaking before the Fighters’ exhibition game against the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

Otani is nursing a right-ankle injury that forced him to pull out of the World Baseball Classic. The right-hander is questionable for Nippon Ham’s season opener on March 31 against the Seibu Lions.

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