“A guy can’t just take one hit and call it a day (laughs). I’m playing now, so I think I’ll be back (to the first team) soon.”

Choi Sung-young (NC Dinos), who is overcoming an orbital fracture injury, promised a quick return.

A product of Yeongrang-cho, Seorak-joong, and Seorak-go, Choi is a left-handed pitcher with an imposing physique of 180 centimeters and 85 kilograms. He was selected by NC with the 13th overall pick in the second round of the 2016 rookie draft, citing his changeup as a strength.

Until last year, Choi had been a salt-of-the-earth presence on the NC mound, posting an 8-7 record with one save and a 5.32 ERA in 82 games (223.1 innings) in the professional first team, but this season, he has shown even more improvement. Initially working out of the bullpen, he earned a spot in the starting rotation when native lefty ace Koo Chang-mo went down with a left pronator strain. As of Aug. 28, he was 4-0 with a 2.57 ERA in seven appearances (28 innings).

However, unexpected bad news struck Choi on March 20. In a game against the LG Twins in Changwon, Choi was hit in the left cheek by a hard hit by Moon Bo-kyung.

After struggling to get up in pain, he was eventually taken off the field in an ambulance. However, Choi reportedly comforted those around him at the time.

“There were a lot of calls from people around me, but I didn’t want my parents to worry, so I told them, ‘I’m not sick. I’m fine,'” he said. “I thought it wasn’t a fracture until I saw the test results. “I thought it wasn’t a fracture until I saw the test results. I thought it would be fine as long as the swelling went down, but the test results showed it was a fracture.”

NC’s head coach, Kang Shin-ho, had seen many of his teammates get hit in the face by balls during his time on active duty. The aftermath left him momentarily immobilized and even closing his eyes when Choi was injured.

“Coach Kang asked me, ‘Are you okay, and are you recovering well?'” Choi smiled, “A man can’t show that he’s been hit, right? I didn’t want to show that I was sick, so I said I was fine,” he said.

Despite what he said, the injuries from being hit in the face can be life-threatening. Luckily, Choi didn’t need surgery, but he did have trouble eating.

“I lost weight because I couldn’t eat. For about a week to ten days, I survived on porridge,” he says, adding with a bitter laugh, “When I could chew a little bit, I used to roll water in my rice.”

The NC team did everything they could to help him recover quickly, especially the support of his trainers and teammates. “Everyone in the club helped me a lot. The trainers took great care of me, and my teammates called me every day. (Lee) Jae-hak, who rehabbed with me, also said, ‘Let’s get better quickly and make it to the first team,'” he said.바카라

Of course, Choi Sung-young himself did his best to make a quick comeback. “I had my arm treated at the same time as my face. As a result, the pain decreased a lot. However, I didn’t want to lose the good feeling during the hiatus, so I did light exercises on my own without overdoing it and threw a ball occasionally.” Choi says.

As a result, he recovered quickly. Although his bones are not yet set, he was cleared by doctors to train.

“I’m much better,” says Choi. “I have pain, but it’s tolerable,” he says. “When I’m pitching, it’s fine, but when I’m running or jumping and I land, it rings. Other than that, it’s fine.”

On April 25, Choi took the mound for the first time since his injury against the Masan Samsung Lions in the Futures (2nd Division) League. He came on in the top of the seventh inning and pitched one hitless inning, walking one and striking out one. One inning later, he gave up a straight-up walk to Lee Tae-hoon, and while his pitch-to-strike ratio wasn’t great, you can’t give away runs on the first pitch.

Choi said, “I gave up a ridiculous walk. Other than that, I was excited to be on the mound after a long time, and I think it was good and fun to share the battery with (Kim) Hyung-joon-i after a long time,” he laughed.

For Choi, however, being hit in the face by a pitch could have left him with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, he said, “When I talk to seniors who have been injured in the past, they say they remember when they went to that stadium, but I got hit in my home stadium (Changwon NC Park). What can you do (laughs)?” He said, “It’s okay. Before I pitched this time, I actually thought about it a little bit, but when I was throwing, I didn’t think about it much.”

Choi’s return could be a big boost for the NC. Photo by Chun Jeong-hwan
Choi’s team, the NC, has been plagued by injuries to its starting pitching staff lately. Koo Chang-mo and Lee Jae-hak (fractured metatarsal 1 in his left foot) are both out with injuries. Even Lee Yong-jun, who had been pitching well in the starting lineup at the beginning of the season, has been sent down to the Futures League to reorganize.

The return of Choi Sung-young would be a godsend for NC. Choi, who threw 19 pitches for Samsung Electronics on the 25th, is expected to gradually increase his pitch count and return to the first team roster as a starter.

He said, “I have to do well. I heard that the pitching staff is struggling right now. If I can help, I want to come back and contribute to the team as soon as possible.” “I want to work as hard as I can in the position I’m in to help the team. I’m also playing games now, so I think I can return to the first team as soon as possible,” he said.

In closing, Choi Sung-young said, “When I was injured, many fans were worried about me. Fortunately, I’ve recovered a lot. I can play now, so I think I’ll be back soon. I will repay the fans for their support by pitching well in the first team. Thank you,” he said, bowing to the fans who supported him.

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