Kuroda withdraws candidacy for 2009 WBC

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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 20 (18:48) Kyodo

Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda has withdrawn his
candidacy for next year's World Baseball Classic, citing a shoulder
that has failed to heal properly, baseball sources said Friday.

Kuroda has already informed Nippon Professional Baseball of his
decision not to take part in the tournament next March and conveyed
it to Japan's WBC manager Tatsunori Hara via phone on Thursday.

''I don't want to participate in a halfhearted way. This will
only cause trouble for everyone involved,'' Kuroda was quoted as
telling a person close to him. The 33-year-old was a member of the
Japanese team at the 2004 Athens Olympics and among 34 candidates
picked for Hara's team.

In his rookie season in the major leagues this year, Kuroda went
9-10 with a 3.73 earned run average. He spent time on the disabled
list with tendonitis in his right shoulder in June.

Kuroda had been intent on playing in the WBC to help Japan in
its bid to defend the title but his training regimen to get his
shoulder in shape has not gone as expected.

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