- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2009

MIAMI (AP) - Dustin Pedroia was scratched from the United States lineup Saturday night because of a strained muscle on his left side, and it’s uncertain whether he’ll play again in the World Baseball Classic.

The reigning AL MVP said he’ll be examined by Boston Red Sox doctors Sunday in Fort Myers, where the team trains. He said the injury isn’t so serious that he might miss the start of the regular season, but he could be out of the WBC.

“Obviously, I’m upset,” the second baseman said. “If it’s really nothing, if it’s a couple of days, then I’ll definitely be back Sunday after I get checked out and continue playing. But it’s up to the Red Sox.”

Pedroia said he first noticed the injury while hitting during a workout Friday, and it worsened when he hit in the batting cage Saturday.

“Today I felt shooting pain, so that was a sign to stop,” he said. “Hopefully, it’s nothing serious. I’m not concerned about the season. I’ll definitely be ready for the season.”

Pedroia was replaced in the lineup by Mark DeRosa for Team USA’s game Saturday night against Puerto Rico. Pedroia said playing meaningful games so early in March might have contributed to the injury.

“I’ve never had anything like this,” he said. “Maybe I pushed it a little bit too hard too fast.”

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