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03/11/09 3:00 PM ET
Tribe brushes off concern over Choo
Outfielder given clean bill of health after being evaluated by team's staff
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A week ago, Shin-Soo Choo's left arm condition had the makings of an international incident. By Wednesday, the Indians were brushing it off as a "non-issue." Choo, in Arizona to train with the South Korean World Baseball Classic team, was evaluated by the Indians' medical and training staffs at the Player Development Complex on Tuesday and checked out fine. Cleveland had expressed concern over the soreness Choo was feeling in his left triceps, just above his surgically repaired elbow, before the first round of the Classic.
"We brought him in and did a full exam, and everything went well," general manager Mark Shapiro said. "He's doing fine. Obviously, it was an uneasy feeling for us with him being in a different continent and not feeling 100 percent, but we asked him to be entirely honest with us while he was there."
Choo was cleared to serve as the designated hitter for South Korea in the first round, and the Koreans won Pool A and advanced to the second round at San Diego's PETCO Park. They are scheduled to begin play Sunday. In the meantime, the team is training in nearby Peoria, Ariz.
Shapiro would not say whether Choo has been cleared to play the outfield in the second round, or if he'll remain a DH.
"I still have to have some conversations [about that]," Shapiro said.
When Choo left the Tribe's camp last month, he was told he could play the outfield twice in the second round, but not on consecutive days.
The Indians were hesitant to allow Choo to leave for the Classic in the first place, and they had the right to deny him the opportunity because of the time he missed last season while recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. But they recognized what the opportunity meant to him and his country. He is the only Major Leaguer on the Korean roster.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.