An MRI exam taken late Tuesday night revealed that Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts tore the pronator tendon and the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow in a collision with the New York Yankees' Bubba Crosby in the second inning of Tuesday's game. It will take Roberts at least six months to recover from surgery to reattach the tendon, making him questionable to play on Opening Day next year.
"I expect a full recovery," Orioles head trainer Richie Bancells said. "There's no reason in the world to not expect a full recovery and a good outcome for Brian."
Roberts was fortunate that the injury occurred on his non-throwing arm, Bancells said. Though it will be necessary to reattach the tendon, which had completely torn from the bone, Roberts isn't required to have elbow ligament replacement surgery. Roberts remained at a New York hospital on Wednesday and was expected to travel back to Baltimore on Thursday to be examined by team doctors. The surgery will likely take place within 10 days, whenever the swelling reduces.
"I couldn't concentrate on the game," shortstop Miguel Tejada said. "The only thing I could think about was what had happened to him. He's the last guy you want to see that happen to. He's worked so hard."
Tejada said he received a call from his father asking about Roberts's condition. When Tejada called his wife, he learned that his 5-year-old daughter, Alexa, had burst into tears when hearing of Roberts's injury. The second baseman is her favorite player.
Roberts's close friend, Jay Gibbons, said he spoke to a heavily medicated Roberts on Tuesday night.
"He's doing okay," he said. "His spirits were okay. He was feeling pretty loopy when I talked to him."
Crosby, a teammate of Roberts on the 1997 U.S. national team, was almost heartbroken to hear that Roberts would require surgery. The Yankees' outfielder had gone to visit Roberts after the game.
"I just wanted to go and see him and let him know I was sorry," Crosby said.
Roberts told him there was no reason to apologize.
"That's just who he is," Crosby said. "It's another reason why my heart goes out to him."