Japanese star Ohtani out with left thigh injury

Slugger/pitcher is expected to miss about six weeks

Japanese star Ohtani out with left thigh injury

Shohei Ohtani will miss about six weeks because of a left thigh muscle strain, the Nippon Ham Fighters -- his Japanese club -- announced Sunday.

Ohtani, the 22-year-old star who has drawn comparisons to Babe Ruth for his dual-threat ability, injured his thigh Saturday trying beat out an infield single. He was previously battling an ankle injury he sustained in last season's Japan Series, which kept him out of the World Baseball Classic.

Ohtani, who also is a right-handed pitcher, was batting .470 with two home runs through eight games this season after being named the Pacific League's Most Valuable Player last year.

Ohtani has drawn interest from a number of Major League clubs, and he hinted earlier this week about his intention to sign with a MLB team next season.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.