SARASOTA, Fla. -- Nick Markakis, who confirmed he will get an MRI on his neck Monday, said he isn't that concerned about the injury because of how he feels and the reassurance from team doctors that don't believe there's any structural damage.
"I think it's just some muscle tightness, but we'll definitely find out tomorrow," said Markakis who last played on March 1 and was scratched from Sunday's lineup after coming in with a neck spasm.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before Saturday's game that he's also optimistic the MRI is more precautionary, although Markakis isn't improving as quickly as the team had hoped.
"I can't pinpoint exactly what it was because I didn't feel anything [right away]," Markakis said of how the injury occurred. I thought about what it could be. Maybe dehydration and working out and straining a muscle, or even sleeping on it or something along those lines, but I don't know. We'll see tomorrow, though."
The neck issue is the latest in an unfortunate injury bout for Markakis, one of the team's toughest players, who had three surgeries (abdominal, right wrist and left thumb) in 2012. Slated to be the team's starting right fielder, Markakis has played in at least 160 games in three of the last four years. He's played in four games this spring, going 3-for-12 with an RBI and two strikeouts.
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.