Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts says return by All-Star break is realistic

The Baltimore Sun

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who has spent most of this season at the team’s spring training facility in Sarasota, Fla., rehabbing a right hamstring injury, visited with the club Friday and hopes he can complete his rehabilitation with the team.

Roberts had surgery May 9 in Dallas and was given an estimated recovery time of at least six weeks. Roberts said he’s been doing some light jogging, playing catch, hitting off a tee and has progressed to hitting off coaches over the past few days.

“Just kind of a progression, every day trying to increase it a little more,” Roberts said. “The main thing right now is try to increase baseball activity and continue to gain my strength back.”

“Compared to where I was before the surgery is night and day. Obviouly, it wasn’t what we had initially thought or planned, but as we got down the road we realized that was the best course of action to get to where we want to be.”

Asked whether he believes he could return by the All-Star break, Roberts said he thinks that estimate is “realistic.”

“I would love to be back before the break,” Roberts said. “I don’t know if that’s July 10, July 1 or June 20. We will push it, but we will be smart. When I do get back I want to be back for the long haul, not just for a week. So we got to do it smart and do it right the first time.”

Roberts said he asked manager Buck Showalter if he could complete his rehab with the team instead of remaining in Sarasota.  

“I was joking with Buck, I said, ‘Will I get kicked off the plane if I get on it on Sunday?’” Roberts said. “And he said, ‘No, come on.’ And we talked about it a little bit when I got here. He said we’ll discuss it and talk to all the powers that be. It’s not the end of the world but you just get tired of it, you get tired of being away from what you love being around. I’ve seen enough games on TV the last two years. I’m good on that.”

Over the past three seasons, Roberts has spent his share of time in Sarasota. Since the beginning of the 2010 season, injuries have limited Roberts to 118 games. He injured his hamstring in the third game of the regular season on April 4 here against the Rays.

“I just spend so much time down here,” Roberts said. “Obviously it was necessary when I was here for my concussion that one year. But no one likes to be away from the team. Nobody wants to feel like they aren’t part of it. I don’t know what’s going to happen for sure, it’s going to be what makes sense for everybody, but obviously I’d love to be around the team and the guys and continue that [rehab] process if that’s possible.”

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