O's originally expected lefty to miss just two weeks

BALTIMORE -- Orioles pitcher Erik Bedard will probably spend another month on the disabled list with a strained ligament in his left knee, an injury that Baltimore initially figured would sideline its most effective starter for only two weeks.

Bedard was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 26, retroactive to May 22. At the time, the Orioles hoped he would miss only two or three starts.

But the injury has been slow to heal, and Bedard said Tuesday it will be two weeks before he can throw off the mound. Then, after he's ready to pitch, the left-hander will likely make two rehabilitation starts in the minor leagues before coming off the DL.

That means the Orioles can expect to be without Bedard for another month.

"It's progressively healing, but slowly," Bedard said, drawing out the final word for emphasis. "No need to push it. I would rather wait."

Bedard is 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA in nine starts. The first-place Orioles would love to have back in the rotation but have no choice but to remain hopeful that they can continue to survive without him.

"You have to wait until the player gives you an indication that the pain is gone and he feels comfortable going out there again," executive vice president Jim Beattie said. "When he tells us he's ready to get back on the mound, he'll get back on the mound. From that point, it's going to be about two weeks before he's back up here pitching."

When Bedard was placed on the disabled list, the Orioles purchased the contract of right-hander Hayden Penn from Double-A Bowie. Penn (1-0) has already made four starts and can expect to remain in the rotation until Bedard returns.