The media learned on Saturday that thirty-five-year-old infield Atsushi Fujimoto is planning to retire at the end of the year.
Fujimoto once considered giving up baseball before turning pro because of back problems while playing college ball, but could not turn away from the game he loved. His back problems resurfaced after he signed with the Yakult Swallows. He went under the knife in 2010, but the procedure did fix all his problems. This year, he has been getting weekly shots to help him deal with the pain.
Earlier this month, Fuijimoto contacted the organization to tell them he wanted to retire because he had nothing left in him.
An official announcement is expected within the next couple days.
UPDATE 9/9 @ 11:00pm -
Fujimoto held a press conference at the Yakult Swallows' team offices earlier today to formally announce his plans to retire at the end of the season. More information can be found at the official team site.
Source: official announcement