Ex-Met Ishii likely to return to Yakult

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TOKYO, Jan. 18 (20:48) Kyodo

Japanese left-hander Kazuhisa Ishii is likely to return to the
Yakult Swallows after spending four seasons in the major leagues,
according to baseball sources.

A Yakult executive said Wednesday the Central League club will
have talks with Ishii on Friday for the second time this off-season,
while Nippon Ham Fighters General Manager Shigeru Takada said Ishii
has declined the Pacific League club's offer, a day after the Rakuten
Eagles had a similar revelation.

Ishii was released by the New York Mets last month and has held
talks with Rakuten, Nippon Ham and Yakult, while saying he plans to
decide around Jan. 20 which team to pitch for in 2006.

If Ishii and Yakult agree to terms, he may announce his return
to the team the same day.

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