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February, 28, 2017

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Giants' Yang sits out of Team Taiwan, citing injuries

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Yomiuri Giants outfielder Yang Dai-kang (陽岱鋼) will not represent Taiwan in the 2017 World Baseball Classic (WBC) due to injuries, a local baseball association said, in what is the latest blow to a national squad in serious lack of stardom.

  CTBA Secretary-General Richard Lin (林宗成) said the organization had received official notice from the Giants, Yang's ball club, that the ace outfielder would not be able to join the team.

  Yang has yet to fully recover from injuries he suffered last year and so must decline CTBA's invitation with regret, Lin said, citing a statement from Giants' managements.

  Yang, who fractured two ribs on Aug. 16, said he had been "playing through the pain" for the remainder of the season.

  Taiwan will head to Seoul in March to compete in a round-robin series of pool matches against South Korea, the Netherlands and Israel as part of the WBC's first round.

  Yang was a member of the Chinese Taipei side at the 2013 WBC, leading the team to the second round for the first time and was named WBC Pool B MVP.

  Twenty-nine-year-old Yang played as a Nippon Ham Fighters outfielder for 11 years before he declared himself a free agent last November.

  In December, he signed with the Tokyo-based Giants on a five-year contract with reportedly worth 2.2 billion yen (NT$680 million).

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