After surviving one of the toughest times in his baseball career, Na Sung-beom (33-KIA Tigers) is back and stronger than ever.
In the first week of July, Na had the best performance of any hitter in the 10 clubs. In five games, he batted .375 (9-for-24) with four home runs, eight RBIs, and a .958 OPS. He led the team in home runs and on-base percentage for the week. With Nasung-bum leading the offense with his hot bat, KIA won all five games during the period.
Joa Pharmaceuticals and The Korea Herald named Na the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the first week of July. “I’ve been out with injuries and haven’t been able to help the team,” said Na. I felt very sorry for myself, but I’m glad I was able to contribute to the team’s winning streak. It feels great to receive the award.”
Na Sung-bum made his first appearance against the Gwangju KT Wiz on March 23, when KIA played its 63rd game of the season. He suffered a torn fascia between his left calf muscles and has been undergoing rehabilitation since then.
When he was first examined in mid-March, the hospital told him he would need six to eight weeks to recover. But every time I went back for a second opinion, they said, “There’s still blood in the fascia, so we’ll have to wait and see.” He also had to stop exercising as long as he didn’t strain the injury.
Na underwent surgery on May 3, 2019, while playing for the NC Dinos, after tearing his ACL in his right knee while running the bases against the KIA. He missed the remainder of the 2019 season.
While he’s no stranger to long rehabilitation periods, Na says this one was even harder. “With my knee injury in 2019, I was told I would need up to one to six months to return. I had to let go of my impatience and look far ahead. It was good that I spent a lot of time with my family,” he recalls. “This time, the injury was slow to heal, so I had a vague sense of ‘will it ever get better,’ and an even greater sense of urgency to get back. The stigma of being late to return from a major injury, and the suspicion that I was less durable than before, also made it difficult for me.”
“I prepared a lot last winter to show a better performance, and I believed in the results,” he said. “There were many games this season where the team (KIA) lost by one point. The results weren’t as good as my teammates’ abilities, but I endured the rehabilitation period with the belief that I could help when I came back.”
After coming out of that long tunnel, Na showed that he was in good form, hitting six home runs in his first 13 games back. “My performance is still up and down. There are also concerns about injury recurrence. My hitting doesn’t mean much right now,” he said, adding, “The atmosphere in the KIA dugout is ‘we’re not going to lose’. I will be careful not to get injured again, and I will play with the team’s victory in mind more than any other season.”메이저사이트
On a personal level, he also expressed his determination to shake off his international slump. He was named to the national team for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March, but was limited to two games due to a calf injury. He went 0-for-5. He watched as South Korea was eliminated in the first round.
“It was a tournament where all the players played under the same conditions,” said Na. My batting cycle can go up and down, but I had to raise it according to the competition. I apologized to the baseball fans for not being able to properly show my skills in each international tournament.” “The experience of failing in the WBC will motivate me, and I don’t know if I will be selected for the national team again, but if I get the chance, I want to do really well, and I won’t leave any regrets,” he said.
Na’s homework is clear. To regain the “iron man” aspect of the league, to lead KIA’s renaissance, and to show competitiveness in international competitions. After his ordeal, he is back on the field, stronger than ever.