“I’m worried, I haven’t even eaten…” The front desk is also shocked by KIA Kim Do-young’s four-month OUT, what to do with his 2024 plan

“The scouts couldn’t even eat, they dropped their spoons (when they heard the news).”

Infielder Kim Do-young, 20, the future and present of the KIA Tigers, is injured again. In the bottom of the 10th inning of the final game of the 2023 Asian Professional Baseball Championship against Japan at the Tokyo Dome in Japan on April 19, Kim hit an infield single with runners on first and second base. Kim attempted a head-first slide to first base, determined to stay alive.

The ending was devastating. Kia announced on Nov. 21 that Kim underwent a medical examination in Korea and was diagnosed with a torn medial collateral ligament of the left thumb’s metacarpophalangeal joint and an avulsion fracture. He will undergo ligament suture surgery on the 22nd. The rehabilitation period is expected to be about four months.굿모닝토토

Kim has already been injured three times since joining the team in 2022. On August 17, 2022, he injured his palm on a hit by Juan Lagares against the Gwangju SSG Landers and was sidelined for about a month. This season, he fractured his left metacarpal on April 2 against Incheon SSG. After taking about three months off, he actually started the season on June 23 against the Gwangju KT Wiz.

And this time, it was a four-month injury. Despite scientific analysis showing that a head-first slide to first base is slower than a sprint, players still often throw themselves to first base with the risk of injury. Moreover, KIA lost Chan-ho Park to injury on September 12 when he head-first slid into first base after hitting a triple against Daegu Samsung Electronics.

In addition to Park, the team also lost Na Sung-beom, Choi Hyung-woo, and Choi Won-joon to injuries in the last half of the season. But that was about a month ago, so they are already rehabbing. The players were seen weight training in Gwangju on KIA’s YouTube channel. At the very least, it looks like they’ll be ready for the 2024 season opener.

However, Kim’s four-month absence is a big blow for KIA. The 2024 season kicks off on March 24. That’s only four months from now. If Kim is young and recovers quickly, he could be back in time for next year’s opening game in a dramatic fashion.

However, in a worst-case scenario, he could miss the opening game. During his rehabilitation, he”ll be unable to hold the bat properly, which could slow down his progress. It”s clear that his preparation for the 2024 season will be hampered. His training could be reduced. 

He could find an alternative, such as Byun Woo-hyuk. But Kim has already become an irreplaceable option for the KIA infield and top of the order. The news also came as a shock to the front office a day before the second round of the draft on June 23. “The scouts were so surprised that they couldn’t even eat,” Shim Jae-hak said in a phone call on the 22nd. They dropped their spoons.”

Team manager Shim Jae-hak apparently heard about Kim’s injury while dining with scouts in preparation for the second round of the draft. “I think Do-young is seriously injured. I’m very worried about him. I hope he recovers quickly,” he said. It’s also a concern for coach Kim Jong-guk, who will be planning for the 2024 season. The good news is that he has plenty of time to prepare an alternative.