• Kyodo


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.