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Orioles: Brian's back

The latest injury news on Brian Roberts doesn't exactly engender confidence that he'll be ready to return to the Orioles lineup in a couple of weeks. He reportedly has undergone another epidural injection on his sore lower back and is seeking more medical opinions.

Could the first month of this season get any worse? Well, unfortunately yes, but it's hard to imagine a more discouraging first week for Orioles fans, who face the prospect of their already modest expectations for this season being dashed.

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I don't have to tell anybody what it means if Roberts is lost for a month or more or -- worse -- ends up requiring surgery to repair that herniated disk. The inability of the club to generate any appreciable offense during the first week of the general season reflects both the days he couldn't play and the fact that he did not have enough spring at-bats to be effective in the handful of regular season games he did play.

Andy MacPhail may have bought some insurance when he picked up Julio Lugo for a song at the end of training camp, but Lugo can't fill that void. Neither can Justin Turner, though I think fans would probably rather see him get a long look at second base if somebody is going to get one.

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