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Lough set to return after dealing with neck stiffness

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles outfielder David Lough, sidelined since he was a late scratch in Friday's game, is expected to be back playing on Thursday if he clears his final impact test.

"They cleared me to go for activity and stuff, so I feel pretty good about it, getting back on the right track here with baseball before the break [of camp]," said Lough, who took pregame batting practice and would play late in the game vs. the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla.

Lough has been dealing with some neck stiffness that he said he had going into a March 8 split-squad game against the Red Sox, but he felt like the inside-the-park homer attempt -- Lough was called out sliding into the plate -- could have triggered some of the concussion-like symptoms that followed.

"I had some dizziness going on. I had a lot of floaters going on in my eyes," said Lough, who was shut down while he had some tests run, the last of which was slated for Wednesday afternoon. "I just wanted to be safe than sorry and get everything checked out and make everything good to go before the season, and get back on the right track."

Acquired in an offseason trade from the Kansas City Royals, Lough is projected to at least platoon in left field for the Orioles this season.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli.
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