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06/29/09 6:57 PM ET

Izturis improving, but won't return soon

Orioles shortstop likely three weeks from rejoining lineup

BALTIMORE -- It's been nearly a month, and the Orioles are unsure when they'll see their shortstop again. Cesar Izturis has been with the team and has been working on elementary baseball drills in the weeks since his emergency appendectomy, but he's still likely three weeks away from returning to the starting lineup.

"He's a ways away," said manager Dave Trembley. "He has not started baseball activities with the team as of yet. I would expect he's going on the trip with us and he'll take batting practice and take ground balls and stuff on the field with us. After that, we'll see where he's at and get him out on a rehab. But he's still a ways away."

Izturis, who hasn't played since June 3, said that he's made some progress over the past few weeks. The switch-hitting infielder said that he's been able to jog and sprint and take some practice swings in the batting cage. Izturis doesn't know when he'll be back but maintained that he isn't too far away.

"I'm feeling stronger and today was a big day," said Izturis, who was hitting .260 when he was struck by appendicitis. "Everything is getting stronger, back to where I am supposed to be. So it's starting to be good."

Reserve Robert Andino has filled in during the veteran's absence, and the Orioles have gone 10-11 over their past 21 games. Izturis, a former Gold Glove Award winner, thinks that he's a week or more away from a rehab stint at a local affiliate and then perhaps a week away from rejoining the team after that.

"[Tuesday] we will start doing something in the field so we can tell," Izturis said of his progress. "I don't think it's going to be a big number in rehab, [just] until I'm able to swing good and throw from the hole."

Trembley was a little more specific, saying that Izturis would accompany the team on its upcoming road trip.

"The way I see it is for him to be with us in California and Seattle and kind of see where he's at at that point," Trembley said. "I would think Cesar would probably go out on a rehab during the All-Star break. That's how I kind of see it right now. I don't know if it would be any sooner than that [but] it could be. That's kind of stretching it."

Izturis has been through two serious operations on his throwing elbow, so he knows all about the rehabilitation process. This time, though, he has to miss 90 days and come back into the middle of the season. Izturis said it will be a challenge to come back from his appendectomy, but one he's eager to tackle.

"It's hard," he said. "But rehab is the time to get ready, mental and physical."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.