Thursday Sep 28, 2023

Year 1 of 13.2 billion aces, another year of injuries… NC second half hinges on Hangzhou AG, Gu Changmo retrial

The athlete is probably the most stressed. But for the team, it’s frustrating, and waiting won’t solve the problem.

The NC Dinos survived without ace Koo Chang-mo (26) with a 5 per cent winning percentage. They remained in fourth place with a 39-38 overall record. Koo returned from a three-month layoff from 18 May to 1 June. It was a proactive measure to manage elbow fatigue.

However, in his comeback game against the LG Electronics on 2 June, he again felt discomfort in his entire left arm and was scratched after facing just one batter. Kang was confident that he could return before the All-Star break. But the injury didn’t get better, it got worse. It was thought to be a muscle problem, but a reoccurrence of a stress fracture in the same area where he had surgery in 2021 meant a long-term absence was inevitable. Since 2 June, when Koo Chang-mo was sent home early, NC has won 16 games, lost 15 and drawn one.

5% without Koo Chang-mo, but the starting lineup is always dangerous

The team managed to hold on. However, if the starting lineup is not stabilised, the current performance is like building a castle on sand. They’ll have to play the season with the risk of collapse. Eric Pedroia, the league’s most dominant ace, is holding on, but Pedroia alone will not be enough to carry the starters through the season. Koo’s injury absence is compounded by the fact that his foreign partner Taylor Widener is yet to hit his stride.

Substitutes Choi Sung-young (orbital fracture) and Lee Jae-hak (toe fracture) are also unlikely to be back in time for the start of the second half. They are expected to return in early August.

While there is some hope for both players, Koo Chang-mo’s rehabilitation schedule will be determined by the results of an upcoming medical examination. “Koo Chang-mo will be examined on the 21st and the rehabilitation schedule will come out after that,” Kang explained at the end of the first half.

Gu Chang-mo’s 21-day retest…NC and Hangzhou AG both touching base after retest results

The fateful 21 days are upon us. If Koo Chang-mo’s return is on track towards the end of August, NC can look to the future with a degree of confidence. “How our injured players recover and return in the second half of the season,” Kang emphasised, “will determine where we stand at the end. Koo Chang-mo is at the centre of that. He was also named in Ryu Joong-il’s Hangzhou Asian Games squad, so the team will not have to worry too much about their starting line-up. Despite the injury, it will be crucial for Koo to recover from his injury, as he was selected because of his ability.메이저사이트

Before this season, he signed a multi-year non-free agent contract worth up to seven years and 13.2 billion won. He was desperate. He was determined to earn his share of the long-term contract. He tried to show his true colours as a ‘healthy Koo Chang-mo’. However, the first year of the big contract was also marred by injuries. It’s frustrating because it’s a result that no one wanted and hoped for.

For now, NC has managed to survive without Koo Chang-mo. But the time is coming when we really need him. All eyes will be on the outcome of his retest. Both NC and the Asian Games team are praying for a smooth rehabilitation schedule.


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