Brian Roberts on his rehab

UPDATE: Roberts is 2-for-5 with a double, RBI single and two runs scored. He has slid, but not headfirst.

Brian Roberts is at Double-A Bowie and spoke with the media for the first time in a few months. He will bat leadoff and play nine innings tonight, DH on Tuesday and play another full nine innings on Wednesday.  B-Rob was optimistic and in a good mood, saying he was happy to be in Bowie and also clarifying that surgery was never an option. His doctors said it wasn’t anything could be surgically treated and he’s confident the issue will not hinder his career in the long-term.

As for his return to Baltimore, Roberts joked if it was up to him, he would be playing for the Orioles tonight. But he acknowledged it all depends on how he feels and what the team decides. Juan Samuel told reporters in Balitmore that having Roberts run on the turf in Toronto next week isn’t the best idea, so the O’s could hold off until the Kansas City trip after that.

Roberts said one of the big tests in Bowie will be sliding. He has not slid headfirst yet, and has not done so since April 9′s home opener, when he reinjured his back.

A full story is coming on Orioles.com, but here are the highlights.

On how he’s feeling…

“We’ve tried to stay as low profile as possible the last month or two just because there was so much going on and you have expectations, people have expectations and we just got to the point where we needed to go as slow as possible and not have to answer those questions all the time. Things are good, things are way better than they were at the beginning of the year. I really never got to the point at the beginning of the year where I felt how I do now. It’s a positive sign and I’m excited to get back out and start playing.”

On if he thought he’d never reach this point (playing in a rehab game) this season…

“Yeah, there were definitely times where I didn’t think I’d be here right now, certainly.  It did get to the point a couple of times where I didn’t know if it was better off just not even pushing it anymore.  But, you know, you just go through the process and you see where it takes you.

“I was going to continue to go through that until it got to the point where there was no hope at the end.  I’m thankful that I got here at this point and we’re just going to continue to hope that things progress as they have been.”

On what motivated him to keep trying to come back…

“I mean a lot of reasons.  One, you just want to play.  That’s what I get paid to do and what Mr. Angelos has signed me to do.  That’s what this organization is expecting of me.

“I think, on the other hand, for me to able to come out next year and if they think that next year is important, I need to get this under my belt and play some games and get back to myself going into next year.  I don’t like the thought process of not playing at all, taking the winter off and then going in with the unknown next year.

“I feel like if I can go out there and get two and half, two months under my belt and be ready to roll going into winter and do my off season program and have no second thoughts with what is going on with my body, I think that’s important.

“I was on a radio show earlier this year and Scott Garceau mentioned that there were some fans that were wondering if I was still trying to play.  If I wanted to play. I want people to know, that is not the case.  I will be out there until I can’t go.  There are a lot of reasons that drive you.  There is not really one sole reason, but there are several of them.”

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