If it were any other player, the news that an Oriole left Ed Smith Stadium to get his stiff neck examined would probably have been greeted with little more than a collective yawn. However, this was Brian Roberts, and questions about his health figure to loom over spring training after he played just 59 games last year because of a herniated disk in his back. "We've probably all had a stiff neck at some point in our life, right?" Roberts said. "I'm not overly concerned." Roberts had X-rays taken on his neck, and manager Buck Showalter said the second baseman and leadoff man had only muscle spasms, "nothing other than that." "They didn't see any disk issues or anything," Showalter said. Roberts, 33, said earlier in the week that he felt 100 percent and he was looking forward to a spring not dominated by questions about his health. He made it through two full days of workouts before reporters returned to his locker to question him on how he was feeling after he returned from getting the X-rays. Asked whether he understands why something as routine as getting a stiff neck would raise concerns, Roberts said: "I understand there's about a two-feet difference from where my back hurt and where my neck hurt. So I'm pretty sure they are not related." Roberts got treatment on his neck and hopes not to miss any extended time, though he said that it's too early in spring training to rush back. "We tried to get it calmed down at least so whenever it does feel fine, I'll go out there," he said. "It's the third day of spring training." When Roberts arrived at spring training last year, he acknowledged that he was having problems with his lower back. His participation was delayed significantly, but Roberts eventually graduated to playing in Grapefruit League games. As he promised, he was on the field and in the leadoff spot when the Orioles opened the 2010 season April 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
X-rays on Roberts' neck reveal muscle spasms, no disk issues
Baltimore Sun | Feb 24