-- Baltimore Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo said he would speak to Rafael Palmeiro in the next few days to see if the first baseman will rejoin Baltimore during its last homestand, which will begin Friday.

"I would hope that by late tomorrow or the next day we would have a good idea of what we're expecting with that," Perlozzo said. "I think he's been working out and been hitting. He knows that he's not going to play a lot if he comes back."

Mostly Perlozzo wants to hear from Palmeiro, who is nursing a right knee injury and a bad right ankle, that he's healthy enough to play and can accept a reserve role. Palmeiro was suspended on Aug. 1 for 10 days after testing positive for steroids. Perlozzo said he had not heard an update on Sammy Sosa's status.

Who's on First?

One of the most intriguing questions for the Orioles this offseason is whether they can acquire a first baseman. If not, the job might go to Jay Gibbons.

"First I've got to figure out what team I'm on," Gibbons said.

Gibbons is arbitration eligible and the Orioles might allow him to become a free agent. Gibbons said he hopes to return and if he does, perhaps he'll play first base, the position he thought he would play this season.

"I came into the season with a manager telling me that I'm going to be the first baseman," Gibbons said.

But Gibbons did not play first base much in the spring and has played the position 19 times this season. Perlozzo said catcher Javy Lopez could be an option.

"I would consider it if he worked at it and showed that he can do it," Perlozzo said. "He could probably do it in the spring, but I'd prefer if he got work in somewhere else" before spring.