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Report: Ji-man Choi to have offseason elbow surgery

The Bucs’ new first baseman should recover in time for the season.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Fans wanting to see Ji-man Choi might have to wait a little longer to see him in action.

While talking to reporters last week, Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said that Choi will undergo a “minor procedure” to remove loose bodies in his right elbow, an injury that allegedly plagued the first baseman throughout the majority of last season.

Choi had hot months at the plate during April and June, posting a batting average above .300 along with BAbips of .385 and .565 during those months, but struggled in May and July by posting averages barely above .200.

The struggles continued throughout the second half of the season as Choi hit .205, .109, and .225, respectively.

Cherington believes the late-season struggles is linked to the issues with his elbow, but he told reporters that he feels good on him going into the 2023 season “based on the information we have.”

No exact date was revealed for when Choi will undergo the procedure, but it’s expected to be “very soon,” according to Cherington. Additionally, he believes Choi will be ready to enter the U.S. for training in January.