Roberts talks about his back

Second baseman Brian Roberts said he was diagnosed with a small herniated disk in his back about a month ago, but it won't threaten his availability or severely alter his preparation for Opening Day.

"I'm on the right track now," he said.

"It's going to be a little slow in the beginning, but it shouldn't set me back for April 6."

Roberts never had kidney stones, but he was treated for them initially because the symptoms were the same. Once a week passed, but not a stone, Roberts underwent another examinaton and learned of his injury.

"It set me back a couple weeks, but we're starting to progress," he said. "We're still going to have to take it slow with the hitting, just so we don't have any setbacks.

"I was working out and thought I had back spasms like I've gotten before, but it just kind of lingered. That's when we decided to dig a little deeper."

Roberts will do some light hitting tomorrow to test the back. He worked out in the weight room this afternoon after taking his physical.

"Any time you hear disk or you hear back, it's frightening," he said. "We tried to all do our due diligence and be seen by the right people and get the right advice, and I think we did that."

Roberts said he won't need surgery after the season. He saw a spine specialist in Arizona and had his films viewed by another physician in Baltimore.

"It's already a lot better than it was three weeks ago," he said.

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