Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts revealed tonight that he underwent sports hernia surgery on Dec. 20 similar to the procedure that two of his teammates endured over the past year. He's resumed workouts in Sarasota and said he's feeling good, with no concerns about his availability for the start of spring training.
Dr. William Meyers performed the surgery in Philadelphia, just as he did with Nick Markakis last January and Brian Matusz in October. Roberts consulted with both players, who told him what he could expect.
Roberts, 35, had surgery in August to repair a torn labrum in his hip. As he got deeper into his training and rehab, he began to experience abdominal pain that steadily grew worse.
"A lot of times, and they've actually done a whole lot of research, hip surgery along with sports hernia injuries can run parallel quite often," Roberts said.
Roberts underwent an MRI and consulted with Dr. Meyers, who diagnosed the second baseman with a sports hernia and some abductor inflammation.
"He recommended that I get it fixed," Roberts said. "I wanted to do everything I could to make sure I was 100 percent healthy and make sure it would be a quick rehab."
Roberts was mostly restricted to taking walks the first week, but his activities increased over the next two weeks.
"I'm four weeks out of surgery today and I'm playing catch and running and stretching and lifting and doing everything," he said. "Four weeks out and I'm pretty much a full-go.
"I wanted to make sure I got it done early enough so as not to be an issue for spring training."
Roberts, limited to 17 games last season, admitted to having initial concerns.
"Anytime you hear the word 'surgery,' yes, but based on what I knew from multiple people who had it, if I had to have any kind of surgery, that was probably the best one to have, especially with Dr. Meyers because he has a rehab plan to get you back playing in three weeks if you need to," Roberts said.
"I knew it wasn't going to affect me that much because I had such a good base going into surgery because I had been training basically all of September, October, November and December without stopping. And all of us pretty much shut down a week or two over Christmas and New Year's anyway, so it wasn't that much different.
"I've probably hit more this offseason than I have in the last 10 years. I feel like I'm really in a good place all the way around. I'm going to continue to work on certain things, obviously, but in general I'm in a really good spot."
Roberts has appeared in only 115 games over the past three seasons because of concussion symptoms and the hip injury. He's got one year left on his contract, which will pay him $10 million, and he said back in November that he'd like to continue playing beyond 2013.
Before today, he was hesitant to share details of the hernia surgery with reporters, knowing that the story would raise more doubts about his chances of making it through the season.
If Roberts experiences another setback before opening day, the Orioles could start Alexi Casilla, Ryan Flaherty or Yamaico Navarro at second base.