Orioles pregame: Hammel on pace to throw off mound in 1 1/2 weeks

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — Orioles ace right hander Jason Hammel, who underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery on July 15, is slightly ahead of schedule in his recovery and is about 1½ weeks from throwing off a mound, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Hammel is currently throwing on flat ground from 90 feet at his home in Rhode Island and will progress to 120 feet before reporting to Sarasota to continue his rehab.


"They still need to get all that stiffness and discomfort out of there because you don't want to start that too quickly and get a setback," Showalter said.

In other injury news:


-- Second baseman Brian Roberts' surgery to repair a labrum tear in his hip on Thursday was successful, Showalter said, and his remains on the same timetable of 4-6 months of rehab.

-- First baseman Nick Johnson, who was rehabbing a right wrist injury in Sarasota, has returned to his home in California. The organization hasn't said it, but it appears he's out for the season.

-- The Orioles won't know whether designated hitter Jim Thome's epidural to relieve swelling on his herniated disk has helped for 3-4 days.

-- Right hander Stu Pomeranz (left oblique strain) is threw off a flat mound in Sarasota on Saturday and appears recovered from a back injury that set back his recovery.


Here are tonight's starting lineups:

Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis  DH
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Wilson Betemit 3B
Nate McLouth LF
Mark Reynolds 1B
Omar Quintanilla 2B
Wei-Yin Chen LHP

Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Jeff Keppinger DH
Carlos Pena 1B
Sean Rodriguez SS
Sam Fuld RF
Ryan Roberts 3B
Jose Molina C
Jeremy Hellickson RHP

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