Nick Markakis still hopes to return before the All-Star break

It is looking unlikely, but Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis still has hopes to return to the active roster before the All-Star break.

The Orioles will send Markakis to short-season Single-A Aberdeen next Monday and Tuesday, and to Double-A Bowie Wednesday through Friday. He may not play in games there, but will continue to receive treatment from the medical staffs at those two affiliates while spending some time working with Terry Crowley and Mike Bordick.

Orioles doctors will examine Markakis' surgically repaired right wrist today. It has now been four weeks since he underwent surgery to remove a broken piece of hamate bone.

"It's getting there," Markakis said today of that wrist.

He said, if possible, he'd like to get into some games next week at one or both of those minor league affiliates.

"Yeah, that is what I'd ultimately like. I'd like to get in some games before the break and that's where I'd get my feet wet going into the second half," he said.

Markakis also said he has not ruled out recovering quickly enough to play next weekend when the Orioles are in Los Angeles.

"I can say it's a possibility. Anything is a possibility," Markakis said. "Have to wait to see how my hand reacts. Get this thing closed up and get the ball rolling."

Markakis, who has not played since May 29 in Toronto, is batting .256 in 50 games with eight homers, 26 RBIs and a .786 OPS.

One reporter wondered if Markakis would be more healed and more ready to return if he does not get activated until after the All-Star break.

"It's when I'd like to be back (before the break), but I don't know the healing process for my body. I just have to wait and time will tell," he said.

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