After undergoing elbow ligament splicing surgery (Tommy John surgery) last year, Hyun-jin Ryu (36, Toronto Blue Jays) is on track to return in the second half of the season.

The Toronto club posted a photo of Ryu on its social media accounts on Sept. 23 (local time) with the words “Hello friend” in Korean. The video is set at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA. The Rays were playing an away series against the Tampa Bay Rays, and in the video, Ryu made a “V” with his finger to the fans.

This is the first time Ryu has traveled with the big league squad since the start of the season. He underwent elbow surgery last June and traveled with the first team following the procedure, but this year he has been rehabbing at the team’s facility in Dunedin, a spring training location close to Tropicana Field.

The end of a long rehabilitation is in sight. Earlier in the day, Toronto general manager Ross Atkins announced in an interview that “Hyun-jin Ryu and Chad Green will be throwing live pitches to batters next month.” Ryu joined Green today to throw out of the bullpen in front of the first team coaching staff. The proximity to the first-team schedule will allow the first-team staff, including manager John Schneider, to see his rehab progress firsthand.

Ryu signed a four-year, $80 million (10.53 billion won) contract with Toronto in 2020. He led the team to the postseason as an ace in his first year and won 14 games the following year, but an early-season injury last year cost him nearly half of his contract.

He has been focusing on his rehabilitation schedule as a result of the huge responsibility, and had previously said he would be back in July when he left the country at the end of the year. While that may have been a bit premature considering it took him a year and a half to recover from his Tommy John surgery, as of May, Ryu is still on track to return. If the team and he are right, we could see him back on the mound in July.

In the meantime, Toronto, which has been playing without Hyun-jin Ryu, remains in fifth place in the American League East with a 25-22 record as of Aug. 22. The Jays dropped the first game of their series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday after surrendering a three-run lead in the bottom of the second inning. 스포츠토토

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