Even though Chris Davis has a history dealing with oblique injuries, which he said helped him distinguish the injury earlier this time around, the Orioles first baseman still can't pinpoint how long he might be sidelined with a right oblique strain.
Meanwhile, the Orioles are preparing to be without Davis until after the All-Star break.
Speaking for the first time since landing on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday, Davis said Saturday that he's feeling better but is still dealing with pain that has made it difficult to move and sleep. For now, he said he will have to wait about a week to 10 days for the inflammation and swelling to subside before resuming any baseball activities.
"I was basically told it's sensitive," Davis said. "It's one of those things you don't want to rush because if you have a setback, it makes things that much harder. But right now, just kind of taking it day by day. Obviously, really frustrated and especially with the way things are going. I'll be sitting on the bench not really able to do anything except cheer and encourage guys. It's a pretty awful feeling.
"[It's] just kind of a touch-and-feel thing right now. … There's not really much you can do for it. There's not really much you can do to protect against it. It's just one of those mysteries, I guess. Obviously, had the left oblique injury a few years ago. I don't feel like this is as severe, but it takes so much time to get the swelling down, the inflammation out and then you can get to a point where you can try to do any kind of work."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that expecting Davis back within the next three weeks before the All-Star break, which begins on July 10, would be "real ambitious."
"I'd sign up for that right now, but who knows," Showalter said. "It was Grade 1, so he had it before on the other side. We'll see. I'd love to see that was the case. These things are so hard to get a grip on. I've seen them when you try to test them at a certain period of time and it's not that you re-injure them, but you definitely bring it into play more."
Davis, who is in the second year of a club-record seven-year, $161 million deal, played in 61 of the Orioles' first 62 games before landing on the DL. He leads the club with 14 homers, but is hitting just .226/.320/.461 and entered Saturday leading the majors with 95 strikeouts.
Oblique injuries can be finicky, and premature returns can result in extensive time missed. Davis missed just 15 days with an oblique strain in his left side early in the 2014 season, and said that he believes this injury isn't as severe. Davis also said the injury worsened over several days, and knowing what the feeling was like helped him know when it was time to sit.
"It actually helped the other night, knowing what it feels like before," Davis said. "Before I injured the other one, I had no clue what it felt like, what the symptoms or whatever you want to call it were, so I just kept going and going and going until I basically couldn't go anymore. The other night, I felt, that kind of feels familiar. I stayed in there for my next at-bat, and the last swing I took, it was, 'This is not getting any better,' which is kind of a positive thing, I guess if you want to try and take something positive away from the situation. I didn't stay in there and make it worse."
Showalter also said the club will have to be cautious with Davis' return, but said with these types of injuries it's pretty clear when a player is ready to return.
"With this one, you're either completely fine or you're not," Showalter said. "There's not in between with this type of thing. You can swing and you feel nothing or its sharp and biting. So with this injury, there's not a whole lot of in between. When it's right, it's right. What they do between the locker room and their house and what they may do in the backyard testing stuff out, you can caution them as much as possible, but it's still pretty much at their mercy away from here."