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Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. withdraws from WBC

MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates at Toronto Blue Jays

Mar 2, 2023; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) prepares to bat in the first inning of a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Toronto slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has withdrawn from playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic due to inflammation in his right knee.

Toronto manager John Schneider said that an MRI showed no structural damage in Guerrero’s right knee. Guerrero left the Blue Jays’ spring training game with discomfort in the knee after taking some awkward steps into second base following a hit.

The Blue Jays later announced that Guerrero was withdrawing from the WBC. He was scheduled to leave the Blue Jays to join the Dominican Republic team.

The 23-year-old was expected to be part of a stacked lineup for the Dominican Republic. Guerrero played 160 games last season and hit .274 with 32 homers and 97 RBIs for the Blue Jays.

Guerrero is the third Blue Jays player to withdraw from the WBC joining catcher Alejandro Kirk (Mexico) and relief pitcher Jordan Romano (Italy).