Brian Roberts was back in the home clubhouse at Camden Yards today. It has been a while. He hasn't played in a game since the third day of the season and underwent surgery May 9 to repair his right hamstring.
He made it clear how important it was to rejoin the team over the weekend during the Tampa series and how that provides him a nice mental lift in the final stages of his latest rehab.
"It's great to be back," Roberts said. "You feel kind of isolated on an island down there (in Sarasota, Fla.) It is already good to be around the guys and feel like you are part of the team.
"We talked about the pros and cons of (finishing the rehab) both places, and some people needed to approve things. We all just realized this was a good place to be, and it's good for me to be around the team again. Not that you are not motivated there, but this gives you even more motivation and keeps you more involved."
Roberts is hopeful of going on a minor league rehab stint sometime soon, although there is no timetable set for that yet. For now, he's delighted to be back with his team.
"We are not looking to get any miracle solution out of this, it was just one of the things I brought up and they kind of agreed it was a good idea," Roberts said. "But nothing compares to being in this atmosphere. I don't know how much longer I have left to be in it, and I want to be around it as much as possible."
"I don't think we have a time frame, still at this point, but we are certainly in the homestretch."
Saturday, Roberts said he feels he can return to the majors by the All-Star break.
Roberts said when he does go on a rehab stint, he is not sure how long it will need to last before he is ready to return to the majors.
"I don't know, we haven't talked about the length yet," he said. "Certainly enough time to get reacclimated, but I'm not planning on spending a lot of time down there."
Manager Buck Showalter didn't put a set number of games on it either.
"I'll lean on Brian. He knows what has to get done here," Showalter said. "He's not going to put himself in a position to not contribute the way he wants to contribute. We took the extra step to try to eliminate the possibility of this problem coming back with the procedure he had."
So, what is the next step for Roberts now?
"Mainly the running progression," he said. "Just continuing to build up to where you can be explosive again. Where you can cut, you can stop, you can backpedal. The running has really taken some good steps forward in the last couple of days, and I'm hoping that is a sign we have reached the point where things can started moving a little quicker."