Roberts’ return still up in the air
Second baseman Brian Roberts –who is on the 7-day disabled list with concussion symptoms — has not begun any physical activity, making it increasingly unlikely that he will be ready to be activated anytime in the near future.
Roberts met with the media Saturday afternoon for the first time since going on the DL prior to Thursday’s game and said that while his headaches are getting better there is still some concern given the nature of his condition. Roberts, who has talked with a concussion specialist, is still dealing with some mild symptoms and felt the lingering effects of last September’s concussion for months afterward. He said Saturday he doesn’t believe it will be an extended recovery period this time around, although he appeared doubtful that he would ready the first day he is eligible, which would be Tuesday.
“It’s certainly concerning,” said Roberts, who compared what he’s feeling right now with motion or car sickness. “It’s not life and death, but when it comes to baseball right now, today it’s not great. From talking to some doctors that deal with concussions a lot, I think we can get our arms around it and I think that we can fix the problem. We can do things to hopefully make it better quicker. I don’t think it’s going to be anything that lasts like last year at all. But it’s not fun right now.”
Roberts also confirmed that the headaches started Monday after a headfirst slide into first base at Fenway Park. On that play, his helmet banged his head, but his skull didn’t hit the ground directly and instead suffered what doctors believe was more a “jarring and whiplash effect”, according to Roberts.
“We originally had hopes he would play Tuesday and you hold out hope he’ll be able to play then,” manager Buck Showalter said of Roberts, who is the team’s leadoff hitter and igniter of the offense. “But I also know the reality of some of the diagnoses. Talking to him [on Saturday] some of the headaches have gone away, which is a good sign.”
Limited to just 59 games last season with a herniated disc in his lower back, Roberts was slowed this spring by back and neck injuries, including one that originated from a headfirst slide against the New York Yankees. Asked 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. So once I get back on the field, there might be things, like I said. If I don’t slide headfirst into first then I won’t slide headfirst into first. I guess it’s one of those things I learned in a way that I didn’t really want to learn.”
The Orioles can keep Roberts on the 7-day DL until the period reaches 15 days, in which case they would have to transfer him over to the 15-day DL.