Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda has withdrawn his candidacy for next year's World Baseball Classic, citing a shoulder that has failed to heal properly, baseball sources said Friday.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