Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold will have surgery to remove a bulging disk in his neck and have his spine fused Monday morning. And although he holds out hope he could return by the end of the season, Reimold likely will be out for the rest of the year.
"I think it is possible, if everything works out, that's a possible, best-case scenario," Reimold said of returning in 2012. "I am resigned to the fact I need to get the surgery and I need to do my rehab until I feel like I am able to play at this level again. Whether it takes eight weeks or a little bit longer, that's what I am going to do."
Reimold, who hasn't played since April 30, said the disk has been impinging on a nerve, which has been causing weakness and tingling in his left arm and hand.
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"The best thing to do as far as my career is definitely to get the surgery, to take the pressure off the nerve," Reimold said Friday afternoon.
Originally thought to be back spasms, a bulging disk was discovered in Reimold's neck in May, and after two epidural shots, the disk began to shrink, but the tingling remained. He has been considering surgery for the past few days after consultations with multiple doctors.
"I contemplated back and forth a little bit, but it was pretty much a consensus among all the doctors that I talked to that it would be the best thing to do," he said. "So making a decision wasn't too hard. But it's just the fact you have to make the decision to actually have the surgery."
The surgery will be performed Monday morning at the Johns Hopkins Neurosurgical Spine Center by neurosurgeon Dr. Ziya Gokaslan.
"The disk is pushing on the nerve root in there causing the symptoms I have," Reimold said. "So the whole thing is to remove the disk and get the pressure off the nerve. I don't know exactly what the timeline is. Best-case scenario, I think, it is possible to be back by the end of the year there. But I'm not sure as far as the rehab and how quickly the strength will come back and that sort of thing."
"Pretty much so, and he seems to be doing all right; he's still going to be a quarterback in the NFL," Reimold said. "He's obviously responded well to it."
Reimold was hitting .313 with five homers in 16 games before being shut down.
"It is disappointing, not just individually but collectively too, because with the team playing well, we're as of right now in the division mix, up there towards the top, and to not be a part of it, and just to watch it is kind of tough," Reimold said. "But I am still rooting for the guys, pulling for them and just from that perspective, it's tough. But I'll be back, and everything should go well, and I'll do everything I can to be back as soon as I can, and hopefully it'll make me stronger."
Moyer has offer to start again at Norfolk
The Orioles have offered Jamie Moyer one more start at Triple-A Norfolk, and they are waiting to hear back whether the 49-year-old lefty will accept. Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said before Friday's game that he wasn't optimistic that Moyer would accept the offer — so basically the club needs to promote Moyer or potentially lose him.
In three starts at Norfolk, Moyer went 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA, allowing just 11 hits in 16 innings and striking out 16 with zero walks. In his last outing Wednesday, he allowed one run on three hits over four innings with four strikeouts. He was 2-5 with a 5.70 ERA in 10 starts with the Colorado Rockies before he was released June 4.
Moyer is no longer listed among the Tides' probable starters over the next five games, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter said they could make room for him in Norfolk if needed.
"He could come back and make a start," Showalter said. "They could very quickly put him in there if they chose. I think what I'm saying is, he has the right to or not."
Markakis won't swing bat until next week
Right fielder Nick Markakis, who had part of his hamate bone removed June 1, won't swing a bat until Monday or Tuesday, but he still hopes to be back from the disabled list before the season's first half ends.
"It's hard to tell. In my eyes, I'd like to be back way before that," said Markakis, who had never been on the disabled list in his career prior to this injury and was hoping to start swinging Friday. "But it's just a matter of it healing up, and everything's good so far."
He said the lingering soreness in his wrist has subsided, but the wound is "centimeters" from healing. So the team wants him to stay away from doing anything that might hamper that through the weekend before he can hit off a tee and eventually graduate to live batting practice. Markakis will have to go on a minor-league rehab assignment before he returns to the Orioles.
"It's not something you want to do," Markakis said of a rehab stint in the minors. "But I think the best interest for me and the team and the organization is go on [one for] a couple days and see how it feels and go from there."
Around the horn
Outfielder Endy Chavez (right hamstring strain) was not progressing as quickly as the team liked, so he was sent to Sarasota to rehab there, including more extensive hydrotherapy rehab. … Catcher Ronny Paulino has a hairline fracture of his left big toe, but he expects to play through it. He incurred the injury when he fouled a ball off his foot Sunday. … Reliever Stu Pomeranz (torn left oblique) is now pain free and will begin some light throwing in Sarasota. He could go on rehab assignment by mid July. … Reliever Matt Lindstrom, who is on the disabled list with a partial ligament tear of his right middle finger, continued his rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie on Friday. He was supposed to pitch two innings, but lasted just 1 1/3, allowing three hits, one walk and three runs (one earned) while throwing 18 of his 32 pitches for strikes. ... Catcher Taylor Teagarden (back) is progressing and could go on a minor-league rehab assignment by July 2. … U.S. Senator Ben Cardin threw out the ceremonial first pitch. .. The game's start was delayed by one hour and one minute due to the threat of thunderstorms. ... The first 10,000 fans, age 15 and older, that attend Saturday’s Orioles game will receive a "Greetings From Birdland" T-shirt and a voucher for a 20th anniversary Oriole Park tumbler, the originally scheduled promotion. Beginning July 13, fans can redeem the voucher at the fan assistance center in the warehouse during home games, or from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. They also can mail the voucher to the Orioles after July 13.
Baltimore Sun reporter Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this article.
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