BALTIMORE -- Wilson Betemit will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday for the Orioles' Gulf Coast League affiliate, serving at designated hitter, and he could return to the club before the month of September.
Betemit is currently on the 60-day disabled list and has been sidelined since Spring Training with a right knee injury that involves a Grade 2/3 PCL tear. Betemit crumpled to the ground and was carted off the field in the bottom of the fifth inning of March 25's Grapefruit League contest against the Red Sox, and he hasn't played since.
"I'm dwelling on the fact that I remember running on the field when he did that, and [I] knew that there was no way he just kind of rolled an ankle," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "If you had said he's got a chance to play [rehab] games in early August, I'd have signed up for it in blood in Sarasota. It's been a long road for him. He's had a tough year. He's had some people close to him pass away."
Betemit has been working his way back slowly at the team's spring facility in Sarasota, Fla., and he will get 20 days once his rehab officially starts, although Showalter said the club could extend it if it's agreed that he needs more time. Betemit hit .261/.322/.422 in 102 games last year and was primarily used as the Orioles' DH against right-handed pitching.
"[I'm] hoping it kind of gets him thinking back in that mode," Showalter said of Betemit's next step in the rehab process. "It's been a long time since he's been in game mode. So it's still expected to be a slow process."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for MLB.com.. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.