Wrist still bothering Gibbons


But he plays first base against A's, gets two hits


July 13, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

It wasn't until after Jay Gibbons took batting practice that his name stayed in the Orioles' lineup last night.

Gibbons continues to be bothered by a sore right wrist that kept him from pinch-hitting against Oakland Athletics right-hander Jim Mecir in Thursday's 4-1 loss. He returned to first base last night, but he had the wrist wrapped before the game after receiving treatment.

This is the same wrist that needed surgery in August to remove a broken hamate bone. Doctors had told Gibbons that he'd need 18 months to fully recover from the injury, which forced him to leave the Dominican Winter League early because of recurring pain.

Asked about the wrist earlier in the day, Gibbons said, "Let me see how batting practice goes before telling you how I'm feeling. It's touch and go."

Gibbons, who was 2-for-3 last night, aggravated the injury by falling on the wrist while catching a foul pop in San Francisco, and was hit in the same spot by a Dave Burba pitch last Saturday in Texas.

Conine still hobbled

As the Orioles continue to hover around .500, Jeff Conine does the same inside their clubhouse.

Conine still can't play because of a strained right hamstring that landed him on the disabled list four weeks ago. He'll rest the leg for a few days in between treatments while his return date stays uncertain.

Manager Mike Hargrove speculated on Thursday, after Conine continued to experience discomfort while running the bases, that his first baseman could remain out another three or four days.

"It's a situation where I've got to test it close to 100 percent before I get back out there," Conine said. "When you get into a game, instinctively you're going to go those extra few percentage points you didn't do in practice and blow it out again, and it's going to be even longer coming back."

The Orioles are 11-11 since Conine went on the disabled list while surviving brutal stretches against the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants and Anaheim Angels on the road and the New York Yankees at home. Those games could have buried them without Conine.

"That does help seeing that everyone's playing so well and the team's doing great," Conine said, "but as an athlete and a competitor, it's hard to watch."

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