• Kyodo


Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks outfielder Yuki Yanagita was diagnosed with an injury to his abdominal muscles and intercostal muscles between his ribs that requires three weeks to heal, the club said Thursday.

Yanagita was removed from the active roster on the same day, which puts him at risk of missing the final stage of the Climax Series that begins on Oct. 18.

The 28-year-old sustained the injury while batting in the second inning in Wednesday night’s game against the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters at Sapporo Dome.

He is batting .310 with 139 hits, 31 homer runs and 99 RBIs in 130 games.

Yanagita has been batting leadoff since captain Seiichi Uchikawa fractured his left thumb in a game in July and has played a vital role for the Hawks, who last weekend clinched their first PL pennant in two years.

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