Davis clears the air with Oates over his injury absence

April 29, 1992|By Ken Rosenthal | Ken Rosenthal,Staff Writer

Injured Orioles first baseman Glenn Davis hasn't set an exact timetable for his return, but it appears he will remain on the disabled list at least another week, with perhaps his final test coming on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment.

Davis said yesterday he discussed that possibility in a telephone conversation with manager Johnny Oates Sunday night. Oates wants Davis to return only when he's 100 percent, and Davis agreed a rehabilitation assignment "could be good for me."

That, however, was not the extent of the 90-minute conversation. Davis said he was "furious" over published reports describing the club's frustration over his latest injury. But after talking with Oates, he felt reassured of the club's support.

"Anybody would get frustrated," Davis said. "They make a trade for you, they pay you a lot of money, you're not able to play for them -- I would get frustrated too. It's like someone's got candy, and the candy is being taken away. You get angry and frustrated until you get it back.

"That's just human nature. I don't blame anybody. But at the same time, I'm sitting here saying, 'Does anybody know what I'm feeling?' I'm walking around like I've got a black cloud over my head. The last thing I would want is to be hurt. I want to play more than anyone on the ballclub."

Davis spoke of his desire to return in an hour-long interview yesterday at the Greenspring Valley Sports and Medical Rehabilitation Center in Owings Mills. He has undergone extensive physical therapy at the center, and resumed baseball activities at Oriole Park at Camden Yards last Thursday.

Barring setbacks, he will take batting and infield practice when the club returns home this weekend. He said his progress the last two days has been considerable. General manager Roland Hemond said he was "smiling" yesterday after hitting, throwing and running the bases.

"I was actually letting it go without much pain at all," Davis said. "It's just mild stiffness now. When I first started throwing six days ago, I couldn't lift my [left] arm up and throw [with my right]. Now my throwing's come back. I'm thoroughly pleased with my work."

The injury, originally diagnosed as a strained rib-cage muscle under his left shoulder blade, is actually a strained muscle under his left armpit, Davis said. It first surfaced in spring training, and gradually worsened. Davis has played in one regular-season game.

His apparent rift with the club resulted in part from his decision to seek his own medical advice. Davis is being treated by Dr. Richard Schlesinger and his wife, physical therapist Jennifer Schlesinger. He said his agent, Robert Fraley, met last week with club president Larry Lucchino to explain "what was going through my mind."

He said his agent, Robert Fraley, met last week with Hemond and club president Larry Lucchino to explain "what was going through my mind."

"We're all in this together," Hemond said. "It would be nice if he was going to our own people, but the big thing in the long run is to get him well. The guy is striving so hard to get well, that's when he needs some support."

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