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(LEAD) Minor league baseball players, staff test negative for COVID-19 following pitcher's infection

All News 10:20 September 01, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 4, 6)

SEOSAN, South Korea, Sept. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean minor league baseball players and their team staff members have tested negative for the novel coronavirus, following an earlier positive test for a pitcher on their club.

Health officials in Seosan, home of the Futures League affiliate for the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club Hanwha Eagles in South Chungcheong Province, announced Tuesday that 40 players, coaches and members of the support staff all tested negative for COVID-19.

In this file photo from Aug. 24, 2020, Hanwha Eagles players celebrate their 6-3 win over the LG Twins in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. (Yonhap)

They had tests after minor league pitcher Shin Jung-rak tested positive for the virus Monday. He's the first South Korean professional athlete to be infected.

There were 37 other team members who didn't report to work at the Seosan minor league facility on Tuesday, and they will undergo tests near their homes.

Shin hasn't appeared in a KBO game since June 27, and his last Futures League game was July 22. He has been rehabbing from an elbow injury since and has been working out with others in the "rehab unit," away from the rest of the Futures League team.

As a precaution, the KBO decided to postpone the Eagles' Futures League game set for Tuesday. In addition, the LG Twins' affiliate also had its Tuesday game postponed, because Shin, a former Twins draft pick, recently came in contact with some members of that team.

Two Hanwha minor leaguers who were recently called up to the KBO will also be tested. Depending on their test results, the Eagles' KBO game against the Doosan Bears, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, could be postponed.

In this file photo from Aug. 9, 2020, Hanwha Eagles players take a bow toward the stands after losing to the KT Wiz 6-3 in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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