Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Hanshin pitcher Shintaro Fujinami becomes first NPB player to test positive for coronavirus


Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami became the first professional baseball player in Japan to test positive for the new coronavirus, a source with knowledge of the matter said Thursday.

The 25-year-old right-hander, considered one of the top prizes of Nippon Professional Baseball’s 2012 amateur draft, had reported losing his sense of smell a few days earlier, although he exhibited no other symptoms.

Fujinami was examined at a hospital in Hyogo Prefecture on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a doctor recommended he have a PCR test for the new coronavirus. The Tigers canceled Thursday’s farm team practice game at Naruohama Stadium in Nishinomiya, and had their home park, Koshien Stadium, disinfected.

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