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KBO team cancels practice after player reports fever


A South Korean baseball club canceled its practice and closed its home stadium on Monday after a player reported a fever.

The Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said the unidentified player will be tested for the novel coronavirus later in the day, and the rest of the team will be self-isolated in their homes in the meantime.

The Giants, based in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul, came home from their spring training in Australia last Tuesday.

They had three days off and returned to practice on Saturday.

The COVID-19 outbreak has forced the KBO to cancel all preseason games and delay the start of the regular season. It was supposed to start this Saturday, and now the league is hoping to get things going by mid-April. The KBO will meet with club representatives tomorrow to discuss scheduling.

There hasn't been a positive case yet among KBO players or employees, but a few teams have already survived some scares. The Kiwoom Heroes were forced to halt their training last Monday when a minor league player showed symptoms. The Doosan Bears also pressed pause after learning that their minor league team had been on the same flight home from Taiwan as the Kiwoom minor leaguer. He later tested negative.

The SK Wyverns and the NC Dinos also had to cancel their practices last Tuesday after an employee of the company in charge of their scoreboards tested positive for the virus. The teams returned to action later in the week after front office staffers who'd come in contact with the employee all tested negative.

But the Dinos' minor league team stopped their training again Thursday when one player showed a fever and sore throat. He tested negative the following day. (Yonhap)