PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang has left the game against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning with a knee injury.

The Pirates released a statement Thursday night saying Kang had undergone surgery at Allegheny General Hospital for a “displaced lateral tibial plateau fracture with a lateral meniscal repair.”

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It’s expected it will take him 6 to 8 months to recover from the injury.

The rookie was hurt Thursday when Chris Coghlan slid into him while unsuccessfully trying to break up a double play.

In a statement, Kang’s agent said he believed it was all an accident.

Kang was helped off the field by two members of the training staff and replaced by Jordy Mercer.

Fans had mixed reactions to what happened.

“I thought he was going to be gone, like when they took him out,” said Pirates fan Stephen Holt. “That he really hurt himself. Well, actually he didn’t hurt himself, the guy who took him out hurt him.”

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“I don’t think he’s a dirty player, he just went in there kind of hard,” said fan Stephen Fox.

And callers jammed the phone lines at 93-7 the Fan for hours after the game.

“I think this guy (Coghlan) is on a wanted poster, or is on a public enemy No. 1 list for Pirates fans,” said Andrew Filliponi of the Fan. “Whenever something like this happens, you want your revenge and Pirates fans didn’t have that either.”

Kang is hitting .287 with 15 home runs in 126 games.

He’s the first native South Korean position player to make the majors from the Korean Baseball Organization, where he was the MVP last season.

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