• Kyodo

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Seattle Mariners pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano, who tested positive for the new coronavirus late last month, joined his team at their preseason camp on Saturday after posting two negative test results.

Hirano became the first Japanese major league player confirmed to have contracted the virus after he was placed on the injured list by the Mariners on Tuesday. He was cleared to join the team after testing negative twice following a recovery period.

During a two-hour practice session on Saturday, Hirano played catch, took part in fielding practice and did weight training, the 36-year-old told reporters.

After battling symptoms included a 39 degree Celsius fever, Hirano said he was barely able to train while recovering from the virus and only resumed exercising on July 6 when he took the first test that came out negative.

The right-handed reliever returned a positive result on June 25 after undergoing testing per protocols established by Major League Baseball before the Mariners started camp at the beginning of the month.

Hirano signed a one-year deal with Seattle in January after going 9-8 with a 3.47 ERA over two seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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