Blue Jays' Brett Lawrie forced to withdraw from WBC with rib injury: Griffin
Canada's hopes in the WBC took another body blow on Thursday, as a subdued Brett Lawrie emerged into the dugout at Chase Field to announce that he would not play in ther tournament, even if Canada makes it to the finals in San Francisco, March 17-19.
Lawrie suffered what he described as some discomfort in the area of the 10th rib of his left side in an exhibition vs. the Reds on Wednesday night. It's the opposite side and closer to the surface than the injury he suffered last June that kept him out for two months.
“These are not things that you can mess around with," Lawrie said, after being diagnosed by the doctor juust 20 minutes earlier. "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 had not yet spoken to Jays' general manager Alex Anthopoulos, but he said he had learned from last year's injury that caution is the best avenue in these situations.
"I just think right now it's important for me to take this time to get things back to where they need to be and I feel that if I went out there and continued playing, this thing could turn into something that it doesn't need to be," the Langley B.C. native explained. "It would eventually hurt the Blue Jays and that's not what I want. Right now it's looking to the future, looking forward to April and trying to get myself ready for that."
It's the second blow that Canada has received in the past seven days. Last week it was catcher Russell Martin who withdrew from the team for personal reasons, now it's Lawrie. Manager Ernie Whitt had been counting on Martin and Lawrie to provide righthanded hitting balance to a lineup that leans heavily to the left.
Lawrie will stay in Phoenix and be in the dugout for the game against Italy and then will fly back to Florida to rejoin his team. He is not available through the length of the tournament even if Canada reaches the finals. He will likely be replaced at third base by Taylor Green of the Brewers. The game against Italy will be played at Chase Field because of concerns about the weather forecast on Friday.