(Reuters) – Shohei Ohtani’s second season with the Los Angeles Angels is done and dusted with confirmation that he will have knee surgery on Friday.
The Major League Baseball team, out of playoff contention with a 67-80 record, made the announcement on Thursday.
Ohtani had not been on the injury list this year but general manager Billy Eppler said the left knee had been bothering the 25-year-old Japanese player.
“This is a congenital issue that affects a small number of the population,” Eppler said.
“My understanding is that people who suffer from this condition have a patella that did not fuse at birth.”
Ohtani, known as a ‘two-way player’ because of his ability to both pitch and hit, played exclusively as a designated hitter this season after undergoing elbow surgery last October.
The man nicknamed “Sho-Time” had a batting average of .286, almost exactly the same as his first season, with 18 home runs in 106 games.
Ohtani has started throwing in the bullpen ahead of an anticipated return to the pitching mound next season.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)