Roberts to see back specialist

SARASOTA, Fla. –Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will
fly to Baltimore on Sunday night where he will be evaluated by back specialist
Dr. Lee Riley of The John Hopkins Hospital sometime on Monday. An epidural for
Roberts’ lower back is not definite, but it is likely that will be involved in
Riley’s plan.

Roberts, who took infield prior to Sunday afternoon’s game, insists this is not
a setback, but a more aggressive approach in treating the slight herniated
disc, an injury suffered during offseason workouts at the Athletes Performance
Institute in Arizona.

“I feel fine doing [infield] sort of stuff,” Roberts said.  “I still have
a little bit of discomfort in certain areas and in certain ways, so those are the
kinds of things that we’re just going to check and make sure that we don’t need
to try to do anything different treatment wise.”

While president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has gone on record
recently to say the situation is a growing concern, Roberts has no doubt he can
still be ready Opening Day.

“I’m not alarmed because I know what my body feels like,” Roberts said. I’m
ready to go out there and play [right now]. But obviously, we have 162 games in
front of us and you have to start as softly as you can.”

Roberts’ progression in treating the injury was slowed last week after
medication he was prescribed on upset his stomach.  Manager Dave Trembley
described the megadose pack as similar to a cortisone shot and said it was
prescribed to help reduce the inflammation in Roberts’ back. While suffering
from stomach-virus-like symptoms, Roberts did not take any medication the past
few days and said his new round of medication is almost over as well. But he’s
been limited in baseball-related activities and hasn’t hit in five or six days.

“At this point, I don’t have anything that gives me major trouble or
discomfort,” Roberts said. ” I mean, I’ve had some discomfort. Hitting was
probably the biggest issue at that point. We’re trying to push it forward as
best as we can.”

Roberts will be checked on Monday and will fly back to Sarasota either Monday
night or sometime on Tuesday.

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