SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds has withdrawn from the World Baseball Classic to avoid possible injury.
Bonds wrote Monday on his Web site that he has decided against the inaugural event after talking things over with his family and friends.
"When my name was first announced for the WBC, my gut reaction was that I wanted to play," Bonds said in a statement. "After much thought and discussion with my family I have decided to remove myself from the upcoming World Baseball Classic roster."
A right knee that required three separate surgical procedures last year, limited the 41-year-old Bonds to just 14 games and 42 at-bats in 2005.
The seven-time National League MVP enters the 2006 season with 708 home runs, just six shy of tying Babe Ruth for second place on baseball's all-time list.