- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 15, 2009

MIAMI (AP) - Dustin Pedroia will miss the rest of the World Baseball Classic because of a strained muscle on his left side, but the injury isn’t considered serious.

The reigning AL MVP was replaced on Team USA’s roster by second baseman Brian Roberts of the Baltimore Orioles.

Pedroia was scratched from the lineup before Saturday night’s 11-1 loss to Puerto Rico. He said he first noticed the injury while hitting during a workout Friday, and it worsened when he hit in the batting cage Saturday.

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

Pedroia left the WBC and was examined by Red Sox medical director Dr. Tom Gill on Sunday night in Fort Myers, where the team trains. Pedroia was diagnosed with a minor strain in his lower left abdominal area.

“While he will be held out from activity for a couple of days, it is not expected that he will miss significant time,” the team said in a statement. “Pedroia will rejoin Red Sox spring training camp on Sunday and is no longer participating in the World Baseball Classic.”

Pedroia, who was replaced in the U.S. lineup Saturday by Mark DeRosa, 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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