South Korean infielder Jung Ho Kang says he is thankful for the second chance as he returns to the United States and rejoins the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
In a statement Friday, Kang apologized to his family and friends as well as the Pirates' franchise, players and fans after his DUI arrest in South Korea that led to him missing all of the 2017 season.
"After a long, painful process, I am excited to have a chance to return to the game that I have missed so much," Kang said. "My focus is first on becoming the best person that I can be. Secondly, I look forward to getting to Pirate City and demonstrating that I am committed to doing whatever I can to get back to Pittsburgh and help the Pirates win. I will not disappoint anyone anymore."
The December 2016 arrest, his third in South Korea, led to visa issues, and the 30-year-old was allowed to return to the Pirates organization in the United States on Thursday, the team announced.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington told reporters Friday that Kang will not face any further discipline from Major League Baseball or the team. Huntington said Kang is expected to report to the Pirates facility in Bradenton, Florida, on Monday to work with the team's trainers.
"He has a lot of work ahead of him," Huntington said. "He hasn't played competitive baseball for a long time."
Kang does not plan to speak publicly until he gets closer to a return to game action, the team said.
In his first two seasons with the Pirates, Kang batted .273 with 36 home runs and 120 RBIs. He played 169 games at third base and another 60 at shortstop.
Kang received an eight-month suspended prison sentence last year for the third DUI arrest.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.