Brett Lawrie finished 2012 with 11 hime runs and 48 RBI in 125 games for the Blue Jays.
Morry Gash/AP

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) Brett Lawrie is off Canada's roster because of a rib injury, one day before the team's first game at the World Baseball Classic.

The Toronto Blue Jays third baseman felt discomfort in his left side during an exhibition game against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday and came out of the game.

Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos says the team expected Lawrie to be out 2 or 3 weeks "on the conservative side" and could be ready for opening day. A right oblique injury cost Lawrie two months with Toronto last season.

Lawrie says "to have it kind of taken away just from something so small like this is frustrating."

Anthopoulos says Lawrie told him last season's injury was much more severe and that Lawrie was "smart to take himself out."

Canada plays Italy on Friday in its first Group D game.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.