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Lee declines to play in Classic for USA

Lee declines to play in Classic for USA

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Neither Ted Lilly nor Mark DeRosa called Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee to try to lobby him to play this weekend in the World Baseball Classic.

"I'm not going," Lee said Thursday. "I'm not even playing here."

Lee has not been in a game since Monday because of a sore right quad. He was scratched from the Cubs' lineup on Tuesday and is expected back on Friday.

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He said he has not talked to anyone from Team USA, including current teammate Lilly and former teammate DeRosa, but did say that the team's trainer had contacted Cubs athletic trainer Mark O'Neal to see if Lee was available. Team USA is short-handed because Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis has a sprained ankle. Adam Dunn played first base on Wednesday night against Venezuela.

Lee's leg injury isn't serious.

"If it was the season, I'd be playing," he said.

Lee was to take batting practice on Thursday for the first time since Tuesday.

Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano also said he will not join Venezuela this weekend in the World Baseball Classic. Venezuela is short-handed on the pitching side. Teams in the World Baseball Classic can add players who were already on their provisional roster.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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