Download the CBS Sports App today and get the latest scores, news and alerts from Major League Baseball, plus get daily MLB picks from SportsLine!

Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang has reportedly been denied a visa to enter the United States following his DUI conviction in South Korea.

Friday afternoon Pirates president Frank Coonelly issued the following statement:

A Korean news outlet has reported on a purported development in Jung Ho Kang’s effort to secure permission to travel to the United States for purposes of continuing his career as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and added speculation regarding a driving incident in a “third country.”

The facts, as we know them, are that Kang still has not been granted permission to travel to the United States under a work visa.  We continue to work with Kang and his representatives to present materials and information to the appropriate parties in the United States government that we believe establish that Kang should be permitted to travel to the United States under a work visa and we remain hopeful that such a resolution will be reached in the near future.

We have no indication that Jung Ho has had a driving incident in a country other than Korea.

Kang, who has been arrested three times for DUI in South Korea over the years, was sentenced to eight months in prison earlier this month, though the sentence was suspended two years. That means Kang could avoid prison time entirely if he stays out of trouble the next two years.

The Pirates placed Kang on the restricted list earlier this month, which indicated they expected him to miss at least the start of the regular season. The restricted list is used for players who are unable to play due to their own actions, such as an arrest or family matter. Kang will not be paid or collect service time while on the restricted list, and he will not count against the team’s 25-man or 40-man rosters.

Jung Ho Kang has reportedly been denied a visa to enter the United States. USATSI

It’s unclear how long Kang will have to wait to get approved for a visa, though it’s possible this will keep him out the entire 2017 season since there’s a conviction and prison sentence involved. Because he is under contract with the Pirates, the club would have to grant him permission to play elsewhere while awaiting his visa, such as in the Korea Baseball Organization, his former league.

Even without Kang, the Pirates are in good shape at third base. They have veteran David Freese, who hit .270/.352/.412 (103 OPS+) with 13 home runs in 492 plate appearances last season, to man the hot corner for the time being. Adam Frazier and Phil Gosselin can also play third, as could Josh Harrison. The Pirates could put Harrison at third and youngster Alen Hanson at second.