• Kyodo

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Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks infielder Seiichi Uchikawa has been deactivated due to right knee and left ankle trouble, the Pacific League club announced Thursday.

Uchikawa, who reached 2,000 career hits last Wednesday in the Hawks’ 3-0 win against the Seibu Lions, batted a ball into his left ankle Tuesday and still has lingering pain from a right knee injury he suffered in mid-April.

“It’s twice as bad now,” SoftBank manager Kimiyasu Kudo said. “He was trying to fight through the pain, but I stopped him from playing.”

The 35-year-old first baseman will be eligible to return to the Hawks’ active roster on May 27.

“I’d like him to start over again. Since a new series starts (on the 29th against the Hanshin Tigers), I’ve asked him to make a full recovery,” Kudo said.

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