Nathan, citing sore shoulder, backs out of Classic
"I think we backed off it early enough to where it won't be an issue," said Nathan, who aggravated the AC joint, which connects the collarbone and clavicle at the top of the shoulder.
"It's going to be difficult to watch it, for sure," Nathan said of the Classic. "At some time, I have a responsibility for the Twins. It was a decision everybody agreed upon. It was a tough decision to make."
The 34-year-old Nathan was 1-2 with a 1.33 ERA and 39 saves last season. He has averaged 39.8 saves over the past five years.
Nathan said he felt fine after a bullpen session Sunday morning before the Twins played the Boston Red Sox in a Grapefruit League game. But Nathan said he wanted to be extra cautious. Playing in the WBC, he said, would not allow him to do so.
"That's the one advantage I have of being here," Nathan said. "If there's a day I can back off, I can. Being there wouldn't allow me to stay on the schedule I need. I think I'm on the right track now. If things go well, I can be in a game on Thursday."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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