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Roberts still weeks away from return to O's

Roberts still weeks away from return to O's

Roberts still weeks away from return to O's
BALTIMORE -- Brian Roberts, who is sidelined with concussion-like symptoms, is at least three weeks away from returning, although Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail acknowledged on Tuesday that the organization could be without their starting second baseman for even longer.

Roberts, who has not played in a game since May 16, saw concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins in Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon and the recommendation is he continue to rest for the next two weeks and then be reevaluated.

"He could come quickly after that or not," MacPhail said of Roberts. "They don't know."

The best case scenario at this point would be for Roberts -- who is still experiencing some symptoms that stemmed from a headfirst slide in the first inning of his final game -- to be ready to resume baseball activities after two weeks. Under that scenario, he would need at least another week to be eased back in before being activated. But at this point, there is no way of knowing if Roberts' symptoms will linger, particularly since he felt the ill effects of last September's concussion until Christmas.

"The fearing is not going to get anything done," MacPhail said of the concern over Roberts' DL stay being a long one. "It could [linger] or it couldn't. You just have to let things play out. I think there are different indications, different players that historically they missed much longer than people expected and others came back relatively quickly. You got to take them individually."

Roberts is expected to be transferred from the 7-day to the 15-day disabled list, which is a minor housekeeping matter. The bigger issue for the Orioles is filling the hole at second base and in the leadoff spot. Robert Andino and rookie Ryan Adams are the team's two options on the 25-man roster, although MacPhail said that the team isn't necessarily handcuffed with what they have presently.

"There are a variety of ways we can go [in replacing Roberts]," MacPhail said. "Particularly now it's complicated because we have guys coming on the DL, off the DL, you don't know exactly when they are coming off. There are some moving pieces and I would expect the roster is going to be in flux for the next week or two as we make whatever adjustments we think we have to make."

Roberts was limited to just 59 games last season because of a herniated disc in his lower back, and was slowed this spring by back and neck injuries, including one that originated from a headfirst slide against the Yankees. Asked on Saturday if he may have to consider avoiding that part of his game in the future, Roberts didn't rule it out.

"I just never knew or dreamed that sliding headfirst would cause something like this," he said. "I always assumed that I'd have to actually have a head collision of some sort in order to experience these sorts of things again. ... I guess it's one of those things I learned in a way that I didn't really want to learn."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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