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Hendricks Returns to Baltimore

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 21, 2005; Page D06

BALTIMORE, April 20 -- Baltimore Orioles bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks, who suffered a stroke a week ago in St. Petersburg, Fla., returned to Baltimore Wednesday, though it's uncertain when he will coach again. Hendricks flew home on a plane chartered by team owner Peter Angelos and was accompanied by wife Merle, son Ryan and Orioles Vice President Mike Flanagan.

"He seemed like his old self," Flanagan said. "I was relieved and pleased to see how he was today. He was a little tired from the ordeal."

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Hendricks is also suffering from pneumonia, which doctors have said may have played a part in the stroke. Hendricks won't accompany the team on its next road trip, which will start on Friday in Toronto.

"I'm sure we'll see him when we get back," Flanagan said.

More Problems for Ponson

The Orioles remain unsure if pitcher Sidney Ponson will be able to accompany them to Toronto because of his pending DUI case from January. Ponson needs to get special permission from immigration officials in Canada.

"We're still in the process of finding out," Orioles Executive Vice President Jim Beattie said. "We hope to be able to hear by [today]."

If Ponson is unable to pitch on Sunday in Toronto, Beattie said the team has alternate plans, though he declined to reveal them.

An option is to pitch one of the other starters on short rest or use someone from the bullpen. The team also could decide to send Ponson to a x minor league affiliate for a start rather than alter its rotation.

"We're not going to get at that point until we know what's going on," Beattie said.

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