O's prospect returns from broken leg

O's prospect returns from broken leg

BALTIMORE -- Orioles outfield prospect Kieron Pope took a big step in his recovery from a broken right femur. He was assigned to Class A Delmarva in the South Atlantic League this week and played in his first games since the injury.

"I think that's a really neat, neat story," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "I'm trying to get his phone number so I can call him."

Pope broke his femur -- considered to be the strongest bone in the human body -- on April 3, 2009, during a Minor League Spring Training game. He was trying to beat out a ground ball and snapped the bone after crossing first base.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound left fielder underwent three surgeries -- one the day after the injury, to insert a metal rod in his leg, another in July, to repair a broken screw in his hip that was holding the rod in place, and finally one in December, to remove the rod and screws. Trembley, who coached Pope in the instructional league in '05 and '06, also credited Orioles Minor League medical coordinator Dave Walker for Pope's recovery.

The 23-year old Pope was selected by the Orioles in the fourth round of the '05 First-Year Player Draft. He was named the organization's 10th-best prospect after hitting .257 with five home runs and 56 RBIs in '06. He has appeared in three games for the Shorebirds so far in '10, starting twice as a designated hitter and once in left field. He is batting .231 3-for-13 over those starts.

-- Noah Rosenstein