In a huge blow to Canada’s hopes to advance, Brett Lawrie says he is officially out of the World Baseball Classic after suffering a strained muscle in his side in an exhibition game on Wednesday.
Last season the Blue Jays' Canadian-born third baseman missed almost a month with another side injury, a strained oblique.
The B.C. native addressed reporters on Thursday in Arizona saying he planned to stay with the Canadian team for Friday's opening game against Italy but would then travel back to Florida to receive treatment from Jays' training staff.
Blue Jays’ manager John Gibbons said earlier Thursday if “there is any problem at all” with Lawrie he would be pulled out of the international event.
Lawrie, the Jays’ Canadian third baseman who left his teammates this week to play in the WBC, was taken out of Canada’s exhibition game against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday with discomfort in his side.
“It’s unfortunate but we need him for this season so hopefully it’s not that big of a deal,” Gibbons said.
Lawrie left the game in the third inning of Canada’s 12-2 loss to the Reds, apparently when he turned awkwardly and made a quick movement as a ball passed him in the infield. The discomfort is near his rib cage, Gibbons said.