Takuya Asao is working his way back from right shoulder rotator cuff injury. He tossed batting practice on the 15th for the first time since spring camp at Nagoya Stadium, but had to stop partway through because of discomfort in his shoulder. A re-examination on the 16th did not reveal any additional problems.
Plans for him to pitch in exhibition games against Lotte at Nagoya Dome between the 22nd and 24th were canceled and it was decided that he will begin the year at Ni-gun. There is currently no set timetable for his return.