Roberts still not playing

Injured second baseman Brian Roberts sat out today's extended spring training games in Sarasota after receiving treatment on his sore back.

The Orioles played two games against Tampa Bay, winning them both, but Roberts pushed back his debut for the second straight day.

No games are scheduled tomorrow, so Roberts will have to wait until Monday if he's deemed ready.

"Hopefully, whatever is bothering him will clear up by then," said Gary Kendall, the Orioles' extended spring training coordinator who will begin managing short-season Single-A Aberdeen later this month.

Roberts received treatment earlier in the morning, and the training staff passed along word to Kendall that the Orioles' leadoff hitter would continue to rest his back.

"Maybe they coaxed him into it, that if you take today off and you've got Sunday off, that's two days to sit on it," Kendall said. "I'd just like to get him in a game so we can gauge his status."

Kendall and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail were told yesterday that Roberts is experiencing some discomfort in his back that's unrelated to the herniated disk. Either way, it's another setback that threatens to further delay his return to the Orioles' lineup.

Roberts is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday, but the Orioles would settle for activating him by the third week of June, when they travel to San Francisco and San Diego.


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