Milwaukee Brewers left field Ryan Braun left the team’s Spring Training camp in order to meet up with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic despite a bruised left knee.
Braun has missed the last three games while resting his injured knee that he suffered after taking a foul ball off of his leg last Thursday. It was certainly wise of him to not suit up, considering there was no reason to risk it during an exhibition game. However, the Brewers are hoping that the knee injury does not turn into anything significant during the WBC.
“A foul ball never feels good. I’ll be fine. The swelling is a lot better than it was,” Braun said. “It’s just a matter of getting some of the swelling to subside a little bit. There’s nothing you can do. Hopefully, the range of motion gets better each day.”
The slugger is hoping to be away from Brewers camp for a while because that would mean a successful run through the international tournament for Team USA.
“Nothing is guaranteed in this game,” Braun said. “In a three-game round-robin tournament, anything can happen. Every team has plenty of major-league players. There’s a lot of talent out there, but the goal is to win the tournament.”
The United States did not medal in the 2006 or 2009 WBC, the only two years the tournament has been played, but they are hoping the third time is the charm. Braun was a part of the 2009 team that finished fourth place after a 4-4 record and a loss to the eventual champions Team Japan in the semifinals.
Team USA will play against Mexico, Italy and Canada in Pool D. Their first game will be held on March 8 against Mexico at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.