Kiwoom right-handed ace Ahn Woo-jin (24) will undergo elbow surgery after all.
“Ahn Woo-jin will undergo reconstruction of the medial collateral ligament of his right elbow (Tommy John surgery),” Kiwoom announced on February 2. Initially, Ahn visited Cheongdam Rion Orthopedic Surgery in Seoul to treat right elbow pain caused by accumulated fatigue the day before, but during the pre-treatment ultrasound examination, it was found that the ligament was suspected to be damaged, so he immediately underwent a detailed examination including MRI and CT scans, and was diagnosed with ligament damage.
“Considering that no abnormalities were detected until a month ago when I went to the hospital for a checkup, it seems that the area has deteriorated rapidly,” Kiwoom said. “Surgery is inevitable for treatment, so we plan to decide on the surgery schedule and hospital as soon as possible without any additional checkups.”
Before being removed from the first-team roster, Ahn said, “I’m sorry that I couldn’t stay with the team until the end of the season, and I apologize to the fans,” adding, “Regardless of my personal performance, I’m sorry to the manager, coach, and fellow players that the team fell into a difficult period.” He added, “I hope to recover well from the surgery and come back in good shape.”
Last season, Ahn won the Pitcher’s Golden Glove with a 2.11 ERA and 224 strikeouts. He also finished second in wins with a 15-8 record in 30 games with his fastball reaching nearly 160 kilometers per hour.
However, Ahn played 196 innings last year, the most of any player. As a fastball pitcher, there were concerns about injury.
This year, Ahn threw more fastballs than last year. Last year, he threw 38.3% of his fastballs to righties and 47.2% to lefties, but this year, he threw 43.3% of his fastballs to righties and 57.1% to lefties. His strikeout rate also increased from 31% last year to 34% this year. “I’m trying not to give up runs on the mound, so I tend to pitch more fastballs than last year, when I used different patterns,” Ahn said recently.
However, Kiwoom has given Ahn a break by removing him from the first team roster twice amid injury concerns. Kiwoom manager Hong Won-ki recently said, “Ariel Miranda, who pitched well for Doosan in 2021, was injured the following year, and when you pitch a lot, it takes a toll on your body.” He added, “I’m giving Ahn Woo-jin a break because there’s a possibility of injury.”안전놀이터
Eventually, however, Ahn suffered a dislocation in her elbow that kept her off the field for a while. This year, Ahn appeared in 24 games, going 9-7 with a 2.39 ERA. She leads the league in strikeouts with 164, but her defense has become a challenge.