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Reimold confident in Opening Day outfield return

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Nolan Reimold did some light toss Thursday afternoon for the first time since leaving Friday's game with right shoulder soreness and was optimistic he would have enough time to get game-ready in the field before Spring Training ends.

"What do we still got, four weeks? I think I'll be all right," Reimold said before Thursday's game against the Blue Jays. "I'm not really concerned about not being able to play the field. I've made a lot of progress."

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It's encouraging news for an Orioles team that, as it is presently constructed, would need Reimold, who is also coming off of season-ending neck surgery, to be more than a designated hitter to be on the Opening Day roster.

"We're approaching it that we want him to play left field to be active when the season starts," manager Buck Showalter said. "Nolan's a good outfielder, and we want to bring him back to bringing that skill to us.

"So you are saying if he says that I can DH, that it doesn't bother me at all, which is the case now, but, I can't throw or play defense, would we take him? Probably not."

Reimold started at DH Thursday and homered in his first at-bat, and Showalter has said that he hopes to get both Reimold and Nick Markakis (neck spasms) back on the field for Sunday afternoon's home game.

"I'll be able to play the field again," said Reimold, adding that his shoulder was feeling much better Thursday. "I just got to take care of my arm, work that issue out and get back out there. We still have four weeks left, and I'll get plenty of reps in by the time camp ends."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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