By Yoo Jee-ho
INCHEON, May 25 (Yonhap) -- For the second time this season, the LG Twins have lost up-and-coming slugger Lee Jae-won to an injury.
Citing Lee's left thigh injury, the Twins took the 23-year-old off their active roster Thursday, prior to a road game against the SSG Landers at Incheon SSG Landers Field in Incheon, some 30 kilometers west of Seoul.
Lee suffered the injury during Wednesday's game against the Landers. He hit his third home run of the season in the top of the second inning, but the left fielder was removed from the game before the bottom of the fifth inning. The Twins explained that Lee was experiencing some tightness in his left thigh and was taken out as a precaution.
Lee wasn't immediately taken to hospital Wednesday night. But as the pain did not subside by Thursday morning, Lee underwent tests and was diagnosed with muscle strain.
In a pregame chat with the media, Twins manager Youm Kyoung-youb said Lee might have hurt himself while chasing down a foul fly in Wednesday's game.
"We won't have him back for two weeks at least," Youm said with a sigh. "His rehab could take as many as 20 days. We've had such tough luck on the injury front all season."
Youm, in his first year as Twins manager, has been high on Lee's potential. The young slugger flashed some impressive power in limited opportunities last year, belting out 13 home runs in 223 at-bats -- which could translate to around 30 homers in a full-time role.
But Lee missed the first month of this season after suffering an oblique injury in late March. Lee joined the Twins on May 6 and had three home runs with 10 RBIs in 15 games with a robust .568 slugging percentage.
The Twins entered Thursday's game tied with the Landers in first place in the Korea Baseball Organization at 27-15-1 (wins-losses-ties). They split the first two games of the three-game set.