Kang Jung-ho, a Pittsburgh Pirates infielder, was given a suspended jail sentence that would allow him to return to the Major League Baseball in the United States.
A Seoul court sentenced Kang, 29, to eight months in prison Friday for a drunk driving traffic accident in Seoul, but his sentence was suspended for two years.
Originally, prosecutors had sought a summary order with a fine of 15 million won (13,100 US dollars). The court opened a formal hearing, citing his record of driving under the influence of alcohol several times. He has been ordered to stay in South Korea pending trial.
Kang was fined for drunk driving twice in 2009 and 2011. On December 2 last year, he ran away after smashing into a street guard rail under the influence of alcohol on December 2 last year. With Friday's ruling, he will be able to join the Pirates in spring training.
Kang signed a four-year 11 million US dollar deal with the Pirates in 2015. He caught the baseball fans' eyes and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting last season.
Lim Chang-won = firstname.lastname@example.org