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Votto added to Team Canada roster for Classic

Whether Reds star plays for his home country remains to be seen


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds first baseman Joey Votto has been added to the roster of Team Canada for the World Baseball Classic. Whether Votto actually plays for his country remains unresolved.

Votto was left off of the original provisional roster submitted last month. The deadline to be added to a team roster was Wednesday.

"They'll put me on the roster and we'll decide in the future based on what myself and the organization decides," Votto said Thursday. "The games will be able to tell me whether or not I'll be ready to go. All of this practicing is just practicing."

Votto, 29, missed 48 games from July 16-Sept. 3, when he needed two arthroscopic surgeries to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. Because of his injury status, Cincinnati could have blocked his participation.

Team Canada will train for the Classic in Goodyear, but Votto will stay with the Reds at least until Canada's first game.

"Joey is a big boy. Joey knows what's best for him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He also knows what's best for us. He's been in contact and communication with [general manager] Walt [Jocketty] and myself. Joey is also a kind of a private dude -- he's not going to tell you. You have to respect that. He'll let you know."

So far at Reds camp, everything has been normal for Votto. He does not wear a brace on his knee and has shown no outward signs of problems.

"I feel very good," Votto said.

Unlike Votto, Reds ace Johnny Cueto learned on Wednesday that he would not get to participate in the Classic for the Dominican Republic. Cueto respected the decision and said it was "no problem."

"I wanted to pitch for the Dominican, but the team [the Reds] said no," Cueto said Thursday. "It's a normal spring. I'll get ready for the season."

Because Cueto ended the 2012 season on the disabled list with a strained oblique, the club also had final say in the decision. Cueto came down with a shoulder injury during the '09 season after he pitched in that year's Classic.

"I don't know if happy is the word, I'm more relieved than anything," Baker said of Cueto. "I understand the pressure that's on him being from Latin America. If he's a 10-game winner, he wouldn't have the pressure of a 19-game winner."

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