By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com | 08/16/11 8:17 PM ET
OAKLAND — Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts acknowledged the last three months have been the toughest stint of his career and the veteran infielder — who has been sidelined since May 16 with a concussion — said his return this season is in jeopardy, but his career in Baltimore is far from done.
“I certainly want people to understand through the whole process that there’s nobody more frustrated than I am, there’s nobody that loves playing the game of baseball still more than I do,” Roberts said Tuesday in a phone interview with MLB.com and the Baltimore Sun. “I know it’s been disappointing for our fans, for our players, for our organization, not only the season but my circumstance.
“I still want to be in an Orioles uniform to see this team end up where we desire to go. And I still believe I’ll be an integral part of that in the next two years.”
Roberts, who suffered the injury on a headfirst slide into first base in a game against the Red Sox, is well aware of the backlash stemming from his prolonged absence and said that he is working closely with concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins to make sure they “wisely” handle his progression.
Roberts is still experiencing headaches, although they are less frequent and severe than earlier in his rehab, and he said Tuesday that he is still not participating in physical activity that requires a lot of exertion. That could change, however, following Wednesday’s appointment in Pittsburgh with Collins.
“Unfortunately you cannot always control the perception that’s out there,” said Roberts, who has received some backlash from a restless Orioles fan base and was forced to cancel his annual charity event because it was deemed a risk to cause a symptom relapse.
“All you can do is know that you are doing everything that you can. So for me, in this instance I’m doing everything I can to get back on the baseball field. If the perception out there, if there is one, that I’m not, or for some unknown reason people have feelings that I don’t want to play baseball, I’m sure that’s very hard and hurtful for someone who has as much pride as I feel like I do.
“I’ve been in this [organization] for 12 years now,” added Roberts, who is the longest-tenured player with the Orioles. “As unfortunate as the situation was that I got injured, it was an injury of passion, because I care about the Orioles, I care about the team.”