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Dyson: Wrist won't affect WBC '17 availability

Closer 'never once thought' of missing chance to play for Team USA
Special to MLB.com

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A day after he tossed another inning in a simulated game, Rangers closer Sam Dyson said Friday he's sure his mildly sprained right wrist won't affect his ability to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

Dyson was scratched from Tuesday's game after falling on his wrist during fielding practice on Feb. 22. He continued throwing the next two days, but had some discomfort after he pitched a scoreless inning last Saturday. Dyson underwent an MRI on Monday, but he hasn't had to alter his throwing schedule since then.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A day after he tossed another inning in a simulated game, Rangers closer Sam Dyson said Friday he's sure his mildly sprained right wrist won't affect his ability to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

Dyson was scratched from Tuesday's game after falling on his wrist during fielding practice on Feb. 22. He continued throwing the next two days, but had some discomfort after he pitched a scoreless inning last Saturday. Dyson underwent an MRI on Monday, but he hasn't had to alter his throwing schedule since then.

"I haven't taken a day off from the team except for Monday," Dyson said, noting that he had no concern that the injury would threaten his Classic status. "I never once thought I wasn't going. I'd go with a broken leg."

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

The 28-year-old right-hander, who is entering his sixth MLB season, is eager to represent his country for the first time.

"It's pretty exciting," Dyson said. "I've never been a part of anything involving Team USA. It'll be a first for me, and I'm just looking forward to going out there and competing. … You're playing for people that have fought for you in the military, you're playing for your family, you're playing for pretty much everyone that lives here as a part of the U.S."

Dyson took over the Rangers' closer role in early May last season after Shawn Tolleson struggled. He saved 38 games in 43 opportunities, compiling a 2.43 ERA and striking out 55 in 70 1/3 innings. Though he finished third in the American League in saves in 2016, he said he was still surprised to get a call from Team USA general manager Joe Torre inviting him to the World Baseball Classic.

"I wouldn't have thought I'd have an opportunity," Dyson said. "When Torre texted me this offseason, I thought it was a joke."

The Rangers hope to get Dyson another game appearance this weekend before he leaves for Florida on Monday to join the American team.

The World Baseball Classic runs from Monday through March 22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament will be distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com.

United States, Texas Rangers, Sam Dyson