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03/05/09 5:24 PM EST
Tribe's Choo cleared to play for Korea
Right fielder will be limited to DH duties in first round of Classic
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Shin-Soo Choo has been cleared to participate for Korea in the World Baseball Classic, though he will be limited to designated-hitter duties in the first round of the tournament. The Indians received assurances from the training staff for the Korean team that the soreness Choo was experiencing in his left triceps -- just above the elbow he had surgically repaired in 2007 -- is not a major issue when swinging the bat. Korea has agreed to only have Choo play at DH in the first round. South Korea opens its Classic play on Friday against Chinese Taipei in Japan's Tokyo Dome. If Korea advances to the second round, which will take place at San Diego's PETCO Park, the team would train in Arizona. At that point, the Indians would be able to have their own trainers look over Choo's condition. Choo, slated to be the Tribe's starting right fielder, had originally only been cleared to play in the outfield for one game of the tournament's first round anyway. So in that regard, his situation hasn't changed drastically. According to a press representative for the Korean team, Choo's muscle soreness might have been the result of the drastic change in weather between Hawaii and Japan.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.