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Schoop eager to return to Orioles' lineup

Second baseman has been out since April 18 with sprained right knee

BALTIMORE -- Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop couldn't help but smile following his successful workout prior to Friday's game against the Indians.

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Schoop, who has been on the disabled list since April 18 with a sprained right knee, was monitored by team trainers and Brady Anderson, Orioles' vice president of baseball operations, as he ran the bases and performed other drills. Schoop then headed to Double-A Bowie, where he has homered the past three games, to begin another rehab start. Despite trying to be patient, Schoop admitted he was itching to get back to the big league club.

"I feel like I am better than before," Schoop said. "I feel like I am stronger than before. I feel like I am faster than before."

Schoop, 23, has played in just nine games for the Orioles this season. He was batting .259 with three home runs and seven RBIs in 27 at-bats before the injury, which occurred on April 17 when he tripped over Boston first baseman Mike Napoli.

In the Orioles' clubhouse, Schoop was excited about how well the team has been playing recently. Baltimore returned to Camden Yards after a successful road trip in which it went 5-3, including series wins over AL East rivals the Blue Jays and Red Sox.

"I am feeling pretty good," Schoop said. "Everybody is doing good. It's going to be good for me to come back."

Baltimore manager Buck Showalter was also pleased with Schoop's progress. He was optimistic that Schoop could be back in the lineup sooner rather than later.

"Jon is close," Showalter said. "The plan is for him to play tonight, and I think Brady said he will be with us the next couple of days."

Todd Karpovich is a contributor to
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