Chang-Yong Lim (36) has decided to undergo right elbow surgery. Masayuki Okumura (head of the international division) told reporters on Thursday that it was not a minor injury -- he had reconstructive surgery in the same area back in 2005.
There is a good chance Lim will not be able to return this season, which means his career with the Yakult Swallows may effectively be over -- he is in the final year of a two-year deal and the team might not exercise the option they have on his third year.
UPDATE @ 5:47pm - The Swallows officially announced that Lim will have surgery on his right elbow within the next couple/few days. The team expects Lim to miss a year.
Lim first felt pain in his elbow after pitching in a game against the Yomiuri Giants on June 22. He visited a hospital on the 26th and was diagnosed with an injury to his right tibial collateral ligament.
Source: Nikkan Sports 6/29/2012
UPDATE 6/30 @ 11:05pm - The Swallows do not plan on making any decisions on Lim right away because they have no reason to rush. Sports Hochi includes a quote from an unnamed team rep that mentions November as the deadline. And according to a report by Nikkan Sports, Lim is still interested in playing in Japan.
To clarify on the option: both sides have to agree.