SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts says his ailing back feels much better, and pitcher Justin Duchscherer has learned there’s no structural damage to his bothersome left hip.

Roberts has been sidelined with back spasms, a worrisome injury because he missed significant time last season with a herniated disk. An MRI did not reveal anything new, and the two-time All-Star intends to begin a progression he hopes will allow him to start the April 1 opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Duchscherer has appeared in only one game this spring because of stiffness in his surgically repaired left hip. He threw off flat ground on Sunday, but discomfort caused him to skip a simulated game.

The right-hander had an arthrogram on Monday, with dye being injected in his hip, but no structural damage was found. He will be shut down two or three more days and re-evaluated.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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