Ordeal for KBO representative iron man… Injury and injury again, the worst season ever

Hwang Jae-gyun (36), KT infielder, is a ‘iron man’ representing the KBO League. He has boasted solid durability without major injuries throughout his career. 

After making his debut at Hyundai in 2007, he has played a total of 1855 games in 16 seasons of the KBO League until this year. Since 2007, there are only four players who have played more games than that: KIA Choi Hyung-woo (1962 games), SSG Choi Jeong (1927 games), Samsung Kang Min-ho (1899 games), and NC Son Ah-seop (1862 games). In the case of Hwang Jae-gyun, there was a one-year hiatus due to his advancement to the US Major League in 2017.

Excluding 2007 (63 games) and 2010 (94 games), which were the first years of his debut, he played 13 seasons or more than 100 games consistently. In particular, from the Munhak SK game on July 8, 2011, which belonged to Lotte, to the Sajik NC game on April 29, 2016, he played 618 consecutive games, setting a record for third place in the KBO League history in this category. 

However, he only played 13 games this year, half of KT’s 26 games. He left twice due to injury a little over a month after the opening, and has not been able to make an appearance on the ground. 

The Hanwha match in Suwon on the 14th of last month was the beginning of the ordeal. At that time, in the 6th at-bat, he fouled the ball on the 6th pitch against Yoon San-heum, and the ball hit the top of his left foot. Hwang Jae-kyun, who complained of pain the moment he was hit, was canceled from the first team entry the next day. There was nothing wrong with his bones, but the pain was so severe that it was difficult for him to step. 

Hwang Jae-kyun, who relieved the pain after the entry was canceled, returned to the 2nd Division Futures League match on the 27th of last month. He returned to the first team on the 29th after playing 2 games. He started as a pinch hitter on the first day, and started as a starting third baseman the next day. 

In the first three games of his return, he was silent with no hits in 7 at-bats, but on the 3rd in the Munhak SSG game, he went 2 hits in 5 at-bats. However, he missed before SSG on the 4th, and during training on the 5th, he felt pain in his left foot and went to the hospital. A microfracture was confirmed on his left second toe. He was found to need conservative treatment for about 4 weeks, so a gap of at least one month is inevitable. 스포츠토토

He has already missed 13 games, and it should be seen that he will not be able to play an additional 30 games in the next month or more. The record of more than 100 games in 11 consecutive years since 2011 is also likely to be broken. The record for the most in the KBO league in this category is Yang Joon-hyuk’s 16 consecutive years from 1993 to 2008, and among active players, Choi Hyeong-woo (KIA) holds the record for 15 consecutive years from 2008 to last year. 

In the aftermath of the injury, Hwang Jae-gyun’s performance is not as good as ever. In 13 games this year, he has a batting average of 2.5 Lee (9 hits in 44 at-bats), no home runs, 5 RBIs, and an OPS of .550. His batting average surpassed 2010 (.225) and OPS in 2008 (.567), a personal low. At this rate, it will be a career low season that is not like Hwang Jae-gyun.  

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