Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto told reporters Monday that he will play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic.
Votto was given a spot on the team but wanted to make sure his surgically-repaired left knee was healthy.
The team gave Votto permission to play in the WBC. He will team up with the Minnesota Twins' Justin Morneau and split first base and designated hitter duties.
"I wanted to make sure my knee was heading in the right direction," Votto said. "I feel I can comfortably play. I had never been hurt. I needed a little bit more of a grace period to make sure I'm ready for the Reds and my primary commitment to be part of championship team for 2013."
He will join Team Canada on Thursday.