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Brian Roberts set to begin minor league rehab assignment Tuesday

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts is slated to begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday at Triple-A Norfolk, manager Buck Showalter announced before Friday's game against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Roberts, who is recovering from right hamstring surgery performed May 9, had been rehabbing with the club for two weeks. Before Friday's game in Toronto, he continued to perform sprint drills and run the bases, two final steps before he can go on a rehab assignment.

If everything progresses as planned, Roberts would return with the team to Baltimore following the weekend's series in Toronto, work out with the club Monday and then drive down to Norfolk to begin playing there Tuesday.

How long Roberts will need to be on a rehab assignment is unclear. Showalter previously mentioned Roberts might just need two to five games before he is activated. Special assistant Terry Crowley will be supervising the rehab assignments of both Roberts and left fielder Nolan Reimold, who played his fourth rehab game at Double-A Bowie on Friday.

"I'm going to leave that up to Brian," Showalter said when asked how long Roberts' rehab assignment might be. "And Crow will probably be with him. Nolan may go with him. We will see how the next few days go with him."

Still, Roberts going on a rehab assignment next week is in line with a return before the All-Star break.

Roberts, who is in the final year of a four-year, $40 million contract, has played in just 118 games since the beginning of the 2010 season because of multiple concussions, a hip injury and a hamstring injury he sustained in the third game of the regular season.

He began the year 5-for-12 before the injury. Orioles second basemen are hitting just .217 this season.

Around the horn: Top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy (right forearm and elbow stiffness) has progressed in his throwing program out to 120 feet and Showalter said he shouldn't be too far from throwing off a mound. … Top position player prospect Jonathan Schoop, on the minor league disabled list with a stress fracture in his lower back, will begin taking ground balls Monday. … Right-hander Steve Johnson (left-oblique strain) will being a throwing progression Saturday by playing catch at the Orioles' spring training facility in Sarasota.

eencina@baltsun.com

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