Japanese Pitcher Matsuzaka to Retire after This Season

Sports

Tokyo, July 7 (Jiji Press)--Veteran Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Saitama Seibu Lions, who has also played in the U.S. major leagues, will retire from professional baseball after this season, the Japanese club said Wednesday.

Matsuzaka, 40, started suffering from neck pain and numbness in his right hand since around May last year and underwent cervical spine surgery in July the same year.

Despite his rehabilitation efforts, he has not become free of the numbness, which sometimes interfered with his daily activities, sources familiar with the situation said.

Since rejoining the Lions last season, the right-hander has not pitched in any official games.

As the ace pitcher, Matsuzaka led Yokohama High School to the national high school baseball championships in the 1998 spring and summer tournaments at Hanshin Koshien Stadium, earning the nickname of "the Monster of Heisei" after the name of the era for 1989-2019 in Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press