Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kang Injury Adds to Troubling Loss Fractured Tibia, Torn Mcl Require Surgery; 6-8 Months of Rehab

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kang Injury Adds to Troubling Loss Fractured Tibia, Torn Mcl Require Surgery; 6-8 Months of Rehab

Article excerpt

Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang had season-ending surgery Thursday night after a collision at second base in the first inning Thursday afternoon in a 9-6 loss to the Chicago Cubs, forcing the Pirates to adapt on the left side of the infield and calling into question whether Kang will be ready for spring training or opening day in 2016.

Kang had surgery to repair a fracture to the tibial plateau, an area near the knee at the top of one of two bones in the lower leg. The surgery also repaired damage to the lateral meniscus and will keep Kang out for six to eight months. That puts his return anywhere from mid-March to mid-May in 2016.

The tibial fracture is technically classified as an open reduction/internal fixation of a displaced lateral tibial plateau.

Kang was injured in a first-inning collision at second base with Cubs right fielder Chris Coghlan, who slid into him in an attempt to break up a double play.

"It is unfortunate that what would be considered heads-up baseball would cause such a serious injury," Kang's agent, Alan Nero of Octagon Baseball, said in a statement on Kang's behalf. "That said, Coghlan was playing the game the way it should be played. I'm confident he meant me no harm. I appreciate everyone's support."

Pirates players said they also didn't think the play by Coghlan was dirty or that he intentionally meant to harm Kang, but they also said they didn't get a good chance to see it.

"We are taught to go in hard and to get the guy off their feet," Pirates second baseman Neil Walker said, "and unfortunately this one led to a situation where we have one of our hottest hitters out for probably an extended period of time."

The problem doesn't occur until the sliding player lifts his leg, Walker said, and he doesn't think that was the case, but hadn't watched the play close enough to know. …

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