Bordick set for next step

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Eager to lose knee brace, shortstop aims to push off on accelerated rehab plan

August 05, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

TORONTO - Orioles shortstop Mike Bordick is prepared to remove the brace from his right leg and accelerate the rehabilitation program he has been on since fracturing his kneecap exactly three weeks ago.

After playing catch again with Tim Bishop, the club's strength and conditioning coach, Bordick stood at his locker with sweat rolling down his face. The smile said every drop was worth it.

"It feels good, a lot better," he said. "There's still a little bit - very little - soreness, but it feels good."

Bordick plans to have the knee examined when the Orioles begin a three-day homestand tomorrow against the Minnesota Twins. He assumes the brace will remain off.

"Then we can get some things going, more on-field activities, start moving around a little more," he said.

As for projecting a return, Bordick said, "When I get the OK to start doing some on-field things, I think it'll come quick because I've been able to throw and I've been able to hit, and I'm still working out.

"I'm just now starting to do some leg things rehab-wise. The only concern I have is just to get my legs under me, and I don't think it'll take that long once I get rolling."

While another injured Oriole, Jeff Conine, nears a rehab assignment, Bordick is hoping to avoid the minors. Conine did more running yesterday with trainer Richie Bancells, backpedaling on the warning track as the Blue Jays took batting practice.

"I'd like to just be activated. I guess that ultimately will be their decision," Bordick said. "I'm going to ask them if I can get myself ready here and get in the lineup."

Gibbons' wrist gets rest

Soreness in Jay Gibbons' right wrist kept him out of the lineup yesterday, giving Howie Clark his first start since last Monday. Clark's other starts came in left field or as the designated hitter.

Manager Mike Hargrove is unsure whether Gibbons will be available for today's series finale.

"It's been bothering him off and on for probably a month. The last two or three days, it's probably gotten worse," Hargrove said.

The pain becomes more intense when Gibbons swings through a pitch. He'll have arthroscopic surgery after the season to remove a suture that's pressing on a nerve.

Jays' goof familiar to O's

When the Blue Jays revisited Saturday's 8-4 loss, they kept coming back to a base-running mistake by shortstop Chris Woodward that their opponent easily recognized.

Woodward tried to go from first to third on a single by pinch hitter Dave Berg. It was the eighth inning, the Blue Jays were down 7-4 with two outs, and Carlos Delgado was about to cross the plate with another run. But center fielder Chris Singleton threw out Woodward at third before Delgado scored.

Instead of crafting a four-run inning and having the tying runs on base, the Blue Jays had let the Orioles off the hook.

Watching the incident unfold from his private box, Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi slammed his hand against a wall, the sound loud enough that it could be heard when WBAL Radio replayed the at-bat after the game.

The Orioles could relate. They were burned by the same gaffe on July 3 when rookie Jose Leon was tagged out at third before Marty Cordova could score in a 1-0 loss in Anaheim.

"It doesn't happen very often," Hargrove said. "It's good when it happens for you. When it happens against you, it's not a whole lot of fun."

Around the horn

Delgado had his franchise-record 432 consecutive-games streak end yesterday because of tightness in his lower back. It was the second-longest active streak in the majors behind the Arizona Diamondbacks' Luis Gonzalez (438). ... Brook Fordyce drove in two runs, his first multi-RBI game this season. He made consecutive starts for the first time since June 20 and 21. Hargrove said he sensed that Geronimo Gil needed a few days off, and that Gil would start today.

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