Roberts downplays neck issue

SARASOTA, Fla. - It appears that Brian Roberts is fine and only dealing with some stiffness in his neck after leaving camp this morning and undergoing X-rays.

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Roberts will continue to receive treatment. He's unsure whether he'll return to the field tomorrow, which makes him day-to-day.

"Just a stiff neck," he said, downplaying the situation when approached by reporters. "We've probably all had a stiff neck at some point in our life, right? I'm not overly concerned."

True, but we weren't all limited to 59 games last season and we didn't spend time on the disabled list. Roberts warrants special attention as arguably the most important player in the lineup.

Asked if the X-ray was just precautionary, Roberts smiled and replied, "Yeah, they are always precautionary. So yeah, they just sent me to get one."

"We tried to get it calmed down at least, so whenever it does feel fine, I'll go out there," he added. "It's the third day of spring training."

Roberts reported to camp last spring with a herniated disk in his back. so any camp injury or issue becomes big news.

"I understand there's about a two feet difference from where my back hurt and where my neck hurt," Roberts said, "so I'm pretty sure they are not related."

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