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Orioles get A. Gonzalez back in lineup

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Gonzalez returned to the Orioles' lineup on Friday after undergoing an endoscopy earlier in the week.

Gonzalez, who had last played on March 15, underwent the procedure because doctors wanted to further evaluate something that came back in his blood work during his pre-Spring Training physical. The endoscopy revealed that Gonzalez has a lack of iron in his blood, but he is otherwise healthy. The 37-year-old will take iron pills to hopefully offset the issue.

"Everything's fine," he said. "They were looking at the inside of my stomach to see if it's OK and there's nothing serious, so I'm back in the lineup."

Gonzalez enters play Friday hitting .435 (10-for-23) for the spring and having recorded at least one hit in six of his last seven games prior to missing time this week. With the matter now seemingly behind him, the veteran will resume his quest Friday to land one of the club's Opening Day bench spots.

"Yeah, but it's for my health," he said when asked if he was disappointed to miss valuable playing time. "It's not an injury. It's nothing to worry [about]. I think you have to take care of your health first, but now I feel good. I'm back to playing."

Gonzalez added that he had never experienced decreased iron levels prior to this spring, and despite undergoing the procedure, he was not worried about seeing the test results. After all, he said, he wasn't feeling any of the symptoms doctors asked him about, such as fatigue or extreme lack of energy.

"I was in Venezuela playing every day before they signed me," Gonzalez said. "I came here to Spring Training, getting up early and playing all afternoon. Obviously, you feel tired, but I don't feel like it's something where I didn't want to come to the field. It's tiring for everybody. Everybody is kind of tired."

Paul Casella is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.
Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Alex Gonzalez