Pittsburgh's Kang Jung-ho Unlikely to Return This Season

Jamie Chu, Sept. 14, 2018, 9:44 a.m.

Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Kang Jung-ho is unlikely to make any at-bat appearance this year, despite his recovery from wrist surgery.

According to the team's medical director Todd Tomczyk, Kang is making progress in his recovery without complaining of any "pain or soreness" during his rehabilitation training in Florida recently.

"If all goes well, Kang will eventually advance to batting practice before facing live pitching and getting into games during the instructional league," MLB.com forecast on Wednesday. CBS Sports said, "Kang might play in the instructional league this fall -- this is likely confirmation that he's been ruled out for any kind of return to the big leagues in 2018."

The Pirates, currently sitting fourth in the National League Central with 71 wins and 73 losses, are unlikely to advance to the postseason, so there is no reason to hasten Kang's return.

Kang injured his left wrist in late June and underwent surgery to remove cartilage due to recurrent pain. He was expected to take four to six weeks to recover and hoped to return to the big leagues this season, but his comeback now seems likely to be delayed until next year.

But it is uncertain if he will remain with the team, as his four-year contract ends this year. His participation in the instructional league makes it more likely that he will stay, however.

Kang has not played in the big leagues since the end of the 2016 season.

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