Although Albert Pujols is not going to play in the first round of the World Baseball Classic, the Angels slugger told a Dominican radio station on Tuesday that he still hopes to be medically cleared to play later in the tournament.

That being said, it's still not likely.

Pujols, who had knee surgery after the season, has been ruled out for the first games, which will be Mar. 7-10 in Miami. If the Dominican team advances, as expected, the next games would be Mar. 12-16 in Miami. The semifinals and finals are scheduled for Mar. 17-19 in San Francisco.