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Payton's O's debut delayed at least a week

BALTIMORE -- Jay Payton's debut with the Baltimore Orioles will be delayed for at least another week.

Payton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring on March 27. He was scheduled to be activated on Wednesday, but that's not going to happen.

"We understand that he's a day or two from starting a running program," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said Tuesday. "He's been doing some light jogging, some backpedaling, hitting. He's probably going to be another week, I would think."

The injury occurred on March 26 while Payton was running from second to third on a grounder. He is currently in the team's extended spring training camp in Sarasota, Fla., and therefore won't need a rehabilitation assignment with a minor league club.

"We can go ahead and shoot him right in there," Perlozzo said. "We can get him as many at-bats as we need, lead him off every inning if I have to."

Signed as a free agent during the offseason, Payton was batting .354 in spring training before the injury. The Orioles would love to have him in left field but don't want to rush him back.

"We're going to wait until he's 100 percent, ready to go. He'll let us know that," Perlozzo said.

Also, Orioles reliever Scott Williamson has been feeling awful for a week and hasn't pitched the season opener in Minnesota.

"I had bronchitis in spring training. I don't know if I had a relapse or what, but the last six or seven days I've been having real bad headaches and have been fatigued a little bit," he said.

"But I'm all right now," he added.

Perlozzo, however, indicated that he didn't use Williamson because his services were not required.

"We haven't had a situation a little earlier in the game when we needed him except for the one in Minnesota," the manager said. "I'm fine putting him in there. I know he was a little under the weather, but no one told me he couldn't go."

Said Williamson: "I've been available, but if you can give a guy some days to try to get healthy, that's what you've got to do. If he needs me I'm there, but I'm just trying to get this out of my system so it doesn't happen again."

Williamson had offseason surgery on his elbow and is eager to pitch because his right arm is not yet in peak form.

"I think it's going to come eventually, probably midseason," he said. "I might have it here and there, but I'm just going to have to learn to pitch with what I have right now and get guys out."