David Wright, the $138 million face of the Mets and headlining star of the World Baseball Classic, sat out Thursday night’s WBC game with a sore rib cage.

Wright took batting practice for the game against the Dominican Republic, but was a last-minute scratch. He told reporters in Miami that his ribs have been bothering him since the start of the tournament, but he played through the discomfort. He said he was planning on returning to the Mets’ complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., today to get them checked out.

"It’s just one of those freak things where I woke up one day and I was a little sore," Wright told reporters. "We hadn’t even started playing any games when I first felt this thing. It’s just one of those freak things."

It was a setback for the United States (Wright was hitting .438 with 10 RBI in the tournament), but could be a more serious blow for the Mets. Even if it turns out to be insignificant, it will trigger questions about whether major leaguers should be jeopardizing their health in a preseason tournament.