Jung Ho Kang to enter alcohol treatment program

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang will enter an alcohol treatment program following his drunk driving arrest in December of last year. Kang’s agent, Alan Nero, said the program had been recommended to the 29-year-old following a joint panel evaluation.

Kang was arrested in South Korea after crashing his car while intoxicated. It was his third DUI since 2009. Brink notes that while neither MLB nor the Pirates have issued a formal punishment for the infielder yet, he was removed from South Korea’s World Baseball Classic roster and Seoul police were reportedly seeking an indictment against him in January.

According to stipulations set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, participation in an alcohol treatment program could help ease whatever punishment Kang faces in 2017. It’s not clear yet whether the arrest will affect his visa eligibility when he tries to return for the 2017 season, though Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington expects that Kang will report to spring training later this month.