While the Baltimore Orioles were in Kansas City taking on the Royals yesterday, designated hitter David Segui found himself watching his teammates on a TV in the locker room of the Bowie Baysox with an ice pack wrapped around the inflamed left knee that sent him to the disabled list way back on April 30.

This injury is the latest in a string of setbacks that has cut short each of the four seasons since the Orioles signed him to a four-year, $28 million contract, which runs out after this season.

"It's hard to sit back and watch," said Segui, who is in his 15th major league season. "You're used to playing and when you're team's not doing well, it makes it worse. It's like you're helpless."

A wide variety of ailments have kept the switch-hitter on the sidelines over the past four seasons. Hamstring, foot and hand problems limited him to 82 games in 2001. He missed all but 26 games in 2002 with hand and wrist troubles. He appeared in only 67 games in 2003 because of wrist and leg injuries. This season's knee problems have limited him to 13 games.

As a designated hitter, it is important for Segui to maintain the same fluid swing that produced a career high .334 average in 2000 -- helping the Orioles decide to bring him back to the team that gave him his first big league experience.

"It's a matter of getting at-bats and getting your timing back," said Segui, who is eligible to come off the disabled list as soon as he and the Orioles feel he is ready. "The rust starts building up after about 24 hours of not playing. It's amazing how your swing starts deteriorating."

Segui got off to a good start in his first game for Bowie on Monday. He went 1 for 3 as the designated hitter and in his first at-bat he lined a double down the right field line to drive in the first run of the game.

"I was pleasantly surprised," said Segui of his performance in his first rehab start. "I was just trying to make solid contact and see a few pitches."