Roberts slowed by herniated disc

This will be up on the site later, but for the sake of speed, here’s the dish on Brian Roberts…

SARASOTA — Brian Roberts has a small herniated disc in his lower back, an injury suffered about a month ago that will slow the second baseman’s activity in Spring Training.

The 32-year-old Roberts began experiencing nagging back spasms during his offseason workouts at the Athletes’ Performance Institute in Arizona, and was originally misdiagnosed with kidney stones before doctors found the herniated disc a week later.  ESPN.com’s Buster Olney issued a report on his blog on Thursday about Roberts’ supposed kidney stones, a report that manager Dave Trembley later refuted.

On Monday, Roberts talked to reporters for the first time since the injury and said he has spent the last few weeks slowly progressing in his workouts. While he hasn’t done any hitting, Roberts has been able to do some dry swings and some running.

“It’s already definitely a lot better than it was three weeks ago,” he said. “[Tuesday I'll] probably start some swings in the cage softly. Our main goal is obviously [Opening Day] April 6. So, [we will] just progress that way.”

Roberts, who saw spine specialists in Baltimore and Arizona said the injury won’t require offseason surgery, calling the injury a “little setback” to start the season.

Trembley told reporters on Thursday that he didn’t believe Roberts would be stalled entering Spring Training, but that could change given the extent of Roberts’ injury.

One of the Orioles most consistent players, Roberts hit .283 with 16 homers and 56 doubles last year, breaking Lance Berkman’s record for the most doubles by a switch-hitter in a season.

***
To clarify, Roberts was at the complex today, but didn’t participate in the team’s optional position players workout. He was there to film a commercial for MASN. He was working out in the gym prior to talking with the media and got his physical all set. It will be interesting to see what he does for Tuesday’s workout….

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