“If I get hit again, I’ll have surgery.”
KT Wiz infielder Lee Ho-yeon, 28, donned a KT uniform in May after leaving the Jeongdeon Lotte Giants in a one-for-one trade for Shim Jae-min.
Lee, who hadn’t made a first-team appearance this season before joining KT, has been one of the team’s best performers, emerging as a platoon infielder as soon as he arrived. In 25 games, he was batting .286 with 22 hits, one home run, 10 RBIs, and seven runs scored.
On June 16 against the Suwon Samsung Lions, he hit his first career walk-off hit, and on June 18, he recorded his first career four-hit game. It was a solid performance as a replacement for Park.
But the heavens were not kind. Misfortune struck for Lee Ho-yeon, who collapsed after being hit in the face by a foul ball he hit against Suwon Lotte on March 21. He fractured his left nasal bone. KT head coach Lee Kang-cheol also regretted the loss of Lee, who had grown into a starter.
However, Lee was indomitable in his rehabilitation. He made a monstrous recovery and played in a Futures League game 17 days after his injury. Lee appeared in the Futures League game against KIA in Iksan Stadium on July 7. She went 3-for-3 with a home run in her comeback game. Needing a rebound, KT immediately promoted Lee to the first team roster. He returned to the first team after 18 days.
After the game on the 7th, Lee packed his bags and drove up to Suwon, arriving at 1 a.m. on the 8th. He started against the Suwon KIA Tigers on the 8th. It was proof that KT needed him. Although the team lost, Lee made a strong comeback, blasting a home run off KIA starter Mario Sanchez.
“I don’t have any pain right now. That doesn’t mean I don’t have any pain,” he said. “When I first got hurt, I was upset. But I wanted to come back as soon as possible. I rested at home for about three days, then joined the rehabilitation group and quickly improved my condition. It’s always good to play for the first team. I’m excited to be here.”토토사이트
Getting hit in the face with a ball can be traumatizing. For him, it was the first time he’d ever experienced anything like that, so it’s understandable that he was scared.
“It was scary at first,” he says. It was the first time I got hit in the face while playing baseball, but I thought, ‘If I get hit, I’ll just have to have another surgery,’ so it was okay. I don’t know if I’ll ever get hit again,” he laughs.
“If I was worried about injuries, I wouldn’t play baseball. Even if I do get injured, I think it’s my luck. I’ll leave it to the heavens.”
Even when he couldn’t play baseball, Lee continued to think about baseball through imagery training, and the help of his coach Lee Sung-yeol also helped him make a quick comeback.
He said, “I kept thinking about baseball even when I was resting. I did a lot of image training. Also, when I was in the reserve team, Coach Lee Sung-yeol helped me a lot. He told me to hit a lot, so I kept hitting,” he laughed.