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Pirates President Coonelly 'Optimistic' Kang Will Return In 2017

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) - Despite reports out of Korea that Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang may not play this season, the team's president is optimistic.

According to the reports, Kang was not granted a visa to come to the United States. As a result, his status for the upcoming season is unclear.

Earlier this month, Kang received an eight-month suspended sentence following his third DUI arrest South Korea.

Pirates President Frank Coonelly says he thinks Kang will play for the Pirates this year.

"We believe once presented with all the information and materials, the United States government will decide that Jung Ho should be issued a work visa to travel to the United States to continue his career as a Pirate," says Cooelly.

Coonelly adds that they have no plans to cut him, but that he cannot make any more mistakes.

"He understands when he comes back he's got no more chances...He's used up all of his chances, but we're going to put our arms around him," says Coonelly.

With Kang's future uncertain, Pirates right fielder Andrew McCutchen says personally he hopes he is okay.

"I just hope for the best and hope he is going to alright...I've talked to him a little bit through text," says McCutchen.

McCutchen adds they will miss Kang on the field, but that the Pirates "got guys that can step up and fill in that gap," left by Kang.

Listen to the "KDKA Morning News" with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

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