Brian Roberts, who has been on the Orioles' disabled list since July 3 with a labral tear in his right hip, has progressed to the point where he will test the injury in game action.
MASNsports.com has learned that Roberts will play for Aberdeen tonight at Ripken Stadium, beginning an injury-rehab assignment. It's uncertain how long this assignment will last, but Roberts is expected to play second base for the short-season Single-A IronBirds tonight.
After his return from concussion symptoms earlier this year, Roberts hit .182 with no homers and five RBIs in 17 games with the Orioles. His last game was July 1.
While working his way back from the concussion issues, Roberts played on a minor league rehab assignment at Single-A Delmarva, Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk.
Roberts has never played in a game for Aberdeen, but that will change tonight. He's expected to start at second base, but we haven't been told if he will play the entire game or just a portion of it as he builds back up toward a level of play that he hopes can get him back to the Orioles.
Roberts was trying to avoid season-ending surgery with this injury. He told MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko in an interview about a week ago that he sought several medical opinions on his injury and he got varying opinions on what course he should take.
"That's the reason why I'm going through this process," he said. "I've kind of had slightly mixed answers from doctors on whether I need it right now or whether to give it a shot at rehabbing and see if the symptoms flare back up. I decided that I wanted to try to get back this year if at all possible and contribute and be part of what's going on, but at the same time, I definitely want to be healthy moving forward. I'll navigate those waters and see where it takes us.
"Obviously, four to six months of rehab isn't something I'm looking forward to, but being hurt isn't what I had planned on after working as long as I did to get back."
Coverage tonight: I will be at Ripken Stadium tonight to cover the game so check back here this afternoon and tonight for reports on Roberts at Aberdeen.