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New York Times

 

September 22, 2005

Orioles' Roberts Will Need Six Months to Recover

Brian Roberts did not expect to see Bubba Crosby in his hospital room around midnight after Tuesday's game. Roberts was medicated, with his left elbow in a splint and six months of recovery ahead of him after a collision with Crosby hours before. But he did not kick Crosby out of his room.

"I apologized, but of course he told me not to," Crosby said. "He said it's part of the game."

Maybe so, but for Roberts, the Baltimore Orioles' All-Star second baseman, it is an excruciating part. The Orioles announced yesterday that Roberts had torn the pronator flexor tendon and the ulna collateral ligament in his left elbow. He is not expected to be able to play until the middle of March, at the earliest.

"I would think at some point in the spring he would be at full baseball activities," Manager Sam Perlozzo said. "Whether that's early spring or late spring, we don't know yet."

Roberts remained at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital yesterday and was scheduled to return to Baltimore today. The Orioles' trainer, Richard Bancells, said Roberts would have surgery within the next 10 days to fix the tendon, and he said he did not know if Roberts would need reconstructive elbow surgery.

"I told Brian at the hospital, 'There's no reason in the world not to expect a full recovery,"' Bancells said. "The surgeons will do a good job, and Brian is a hard worker and very compliant in rehab."

In the second inning Tuesday, Roberts was covering first base on a bunt by Crosby and stuck his arm in Crosby's running path. Crosby stayed in the baseline and so did Roberts's arm, which bent awkwardly at the elbow on impact.

"I have not seen the replay," Perlozzo said. "Honest to God, I don't want to. I was out there when he was in pain. I didn't need to see it any more."

Perlozzo was ejected before the next batter; he said he made a comment to an umpire after asking if Crosby had been inside the baseline. But Perlozzo said he did not hold Crosby at fault.

"He didn't try to do anything wrong," Perlozzo said. "If he was inside the line, he wasn't that far inside."

Crosby and Roberts were roommates while both played for the United States national team in 1997. They have stayed in touch, and they made plans to see each other next week in Baltimore. Crosby said their friendship made him feel even worse about his role in the injury.

"To see someone you're good friends with get hurt like that, and on top of that, to be a part of the collision and a reason he was knocked out of the game, that makes it even more upsetting," Crosby said.

Roberts hit .314 with 18 homers and 73 runs batted in and was even better against the Yankees, batting .417 with 5 homers in 12 games.