• Kyodo


Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks pitcher Robert Suarez, who withdrew from the Venezuelan squad at the World Baseball Classic with elbow trouble earlier this week, was diagnosed with a torn muscle in his right forearm, the Pacific League club said Saturday.

While there are no indications as to how long it will take for him to fully recover, the 26-year-old right-hander will most probably not be ready for the season opener on March 31.

Suarez underwent an examination Friday at a hospital in Kanagawa Prefecture, where doctors did not find any abnormalities with his ligaments, the team said.

The reliever appeared in two of Venezuela’s first-round Pool D games in Jalisco, Mexico. He allowed a hit and two walks in the team’s 11-10 extra-inning win against Italy on March 11, but was pulled after throwing nine pitches against one batter the following day in Venezuela’s 11-9 loss to Mexico.

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