Rickard won't be ready by start of September

Rickard won't be ready by start of September

BALTIMORE -- Joey Rickard will be in a splint for another two to three weeks and the outfielder won't be returning at the beginning of September, as the Orioles had hoped.

Rickard, sidelined with a ligament injury to his right thumb, has been on the disabled list since July 22. The Rule 5 Draft pick was a sensation this spring and made the Opening Day roster. Without him, the O's lose some speed and defense, and manager Buck Showalter said they're looking at a Triple-A option for early September to try to add some versatility.

"He won't be [ready] September 1. [Soon after that], I'd hope so," Showalter said of Rickard's return. "But I didn't really have any set time frame. It won't be if it will be when."

Although Rickard had settled into a bench role after getting off to a hot start this season, he still has been an important member of the Orioles.

"We've missed him for a while," Showalter said Wednesday.

The O's are hopeful Rickard can return quickly after he's cleared to resume baseball activities.

Rickard is batting .268 with a .319 on-base percentage, five homers and 19 RBIs. Even though he's a Rule 5 Draft pick, Rickard has been on the Orioles' Major League roster the minimum 90 days that will allow them to keep him even if he doesn't return from the DL this year.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.