It's easy enough to digest the news that Brian Roberts is headed for another surgical procedure and presume that it will always be thus -- that he will never be able to hold up long enough to help the Orioles for a reasonable period.

That's not an illogical conclusion in the wake of Wednesday's news that Roberts will undergo surgery to repair a damaged part of his hamstring and be lost another six weeks, but there's something that you should take into account.

Roberts has made a lot of money in his career and he could have thrown up his hands and gone home a long time ago. The fact that he has weathered two concussions and a string of lesser injuries to come back several times is a testament to his desire to play the game, and to play it for a contending Orioles team. He should be applauded for that attitude and encouraged to work his way back in time to have an impact on the team in the second half.

If you doubt his ability to do that, consider how well he performed during the first series of this season. He looked like his old self and he definitely was an asset to the team. Somebody made the point at the time that if Brian Roberts is your No. 9 hitter, you've got to have one of the better offensive lineups in baseball. That could be true again.

The way I look at it, he was still considered to be two to three weeks away when he suspended his rehab to travel to Houston for a second opinion on his sore leg. The estimate is that he'll need six weeks to recover from this surgery, which means he may be able to resume baseball activities by the end of June. If he can stay on that schedule, he could still be back for the second half of the season.

For all we know, the timing might be just right to help propel the Orioles into the postseason.

Keep the faith.