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Pirates' Jung Ho Kang, not in majors since '16, opts for surgery

Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang opted to have season-ending surgery to remove cartilage in his left wrist, it was announced Friday.

Kang originally felt soreness in the wrist while playing for Triple-A Indianapolis on June 20 and, along with the team, decided on rest and immobilization as treatment. He opted to have the surgery after experiencing further discomfort in the wrist Tuesday during batting practice in Bradenton, Florida.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Ed Birdsong at Allegheny Health Network, and Kang is expected to be out for four to six weeks.

Kang, 31, has not played in the major leagues since 2016, when he was arrested during the offseason for DUI for the third time in South Korea. He received an eight-month suspended prison sentence in March 2017 after he left the scene of an accident in Seoul on Dec. 2, 2016.

The suspended sentence left Kang unable to receive a work visa to return to the United States for the 2017 season.

He was reinstated from the restricted list, returning him to the team's 40-man roster, in June.

Kang finished third in the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year voting after becoming the first native South Korean position player to make the jump from the Korea Baseball Organization to the major leagues. He hit .287 with 15 homers in 126 games that season, and then .255 with 21 homers in 103 games in 2016.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.