Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie pulled out of the World Baseball Classic on Thursday due to a strained left rib cage.

Lawrie suffered the injury while fielding a ball at third base during Team Canada's exhibition game against the Reds on Wednesday night. The Blue Jays expect Lawrie only to miss two or three weeks.

In 125 games for Toronto last season, Lawrie hit .273 with 11 homers and 48 RBI. He also missed more than a month of action with a similar injury. Last year's strain occurred on the right side of Lawrie's body.

Canada starts pool play against Italy on Friday.