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Infielder Son Ho-young (29) of the Lotte Giants will miss his first All-Star Game appearance due to injury.

Lotte manager Kim Tae-hyung said ahead of the team’s game against the KIA Tigers at Sajik Stadium in Busan on Friday, “Son Ho-young, who injured his hamstring (the muscle behind his thigh), will need about three weeks to recover. It’s not a serious injury, but the results of the examination showed that it’s a little worse.”

Son, who was benched by the LG Twins as a “perennial prospect” until last year, blossomed in a Lotte uniform via trade earlier this season.

In 48 games, he hit .324 with eight home runs, 37 RBIs, and a 0.913 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), making him the clear centerpiece of the team’s batting order.

From April 17 against the LG Twins to April 21 against the Kiwoom Heroes, he went on a 30-game hitting streak, tied for the third-longest in baseball.

As a result, he was named as a manager’s pick for the KBO All-Star Game, which will be held at SSG Landers Field in Incheon next month.

Son, who had recently been playing only as a designated hitter due to thigh discomfort, ended the first half of the tournament prematurely due to his deteriorating condition.

“He won’t be able to play in the All-Star Game,” Kim said.

With Son Ho-young out of the first team, Lotte filled the roster spot with Noh Jin-hyuk.

Noh has been in a severe hitting slump this season, batting .153 in 27 games.

Kim said, “We don’t have a third baseman right now, so Noh Jin-hyuk might start. Jeong-hoon is playing third base for the time being, but he might get tired if he keeps playing,” Kim said.

The return of the team’s most experienced player, Jeon Jun-woo, who was sidelined with an injury, is good news for Lotte as they head into the final stretch of the first half.

Jeon, who was batting .315 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs last season before injuring his calf in mid-May, is set to return to the first team in time for the 26th game against Busan KIA.

“Jeon Jun-woo said he could come in the evening from today’s (May 25) game and pinch-hit, but I thought he might be tired, so I told him to join us tomorrow,” Kim said. 사설토토

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