TOKYO (AP)Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki of the Chicago Cubs will miss the upcoming World Baseball Classic because of an injury.

Suzuki’s absence was confirmed on Tuesday by Nippon Professional Baseball.

The World Baseball Classic opens on March 8 and ends on March 21.

The Cubs told Japanese baseball officials that Suzuki had a left oblique injury. The injury is often described as a side strain. Suzuki is training with the Cubs in Arizona.

Suzuki was on Japan’s roster for the 2017 WBC and played on Japan’s gold-medal team in the one-year delayed Tokyo Olympics. Japanese news agency Kyodo reported that Hanshin Tigers outfielder Koji Chikamoto is a possible replacement.

Japan opens on March 9 at the Tokyo Dome against China.

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