Slugger Barry Bonds has pulled out of the inaugural World Baseball Classic. Bonds says he does not want to risk an injury that could jeopardize what might be his final season with Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants.

The 41-year-old Bonds had three operations on his troublesome right knee last year. While he missed most of the 2005 season, Bonds was included on the preliminary United States roster for the 16-nation tournament, scheduled for March 3 through the March 20.

Bonds has 708 home runs and is third on the career list behind Babe Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755). The U.S. team still has several big-name stars on its initial roster, including Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey, Jr.