As a general manager who has absorbed more than his share of bad injury news during his tenure, the bulletin from Arizona bearing ominous tidings about Brett Lawrie’s latest medical setback turned out about as good as it could be.

Lawrie felt something in his rib cage during Wednesday’s pre-WBC game between Canada and the Cincinnati Reds and had the good sense to pull himself out of the game. Thursday, he withdrew from the tournament altogether.

“These are not things that you can mess around with,” Lawrie told reporters in Phoenix, where Canada will play its first game Friday against Italy.

“They get better when they want to. It doesn’t matter how much you treat it. It’s just all on time and right now it’s about time to get it better. I think going out there and playing and still having it nag at me a little bit, would not benefit my team, nor my country, nor myself.”

Lawrie missed six weeks last year with a similar injury that he tried to play through and only made worse by doing so.

“I’m glad I learned about taking myself out of the game and catching it at the right time as opposed to letting it get as (bad) as it can,” he said.