SARASOTA, Fla. -- Nick Markakis said he will be out at least a few more days, as the O's right fielder is dealing with neck stiffness that has sidelined him since Sunday.

"I don't know if I did it lifting or something, but I just went home a couple nights ago and started getting a pain in my neck, and I tried to stretch it out and that didn't help, obviously," Markakis said. "The next morning I woke up and it was real stiff and bothering me. I've never had anything like it, so I didn't know what to expect."

Markakis was examined by team doctors on Sunday and there was no structural damage found, and he said Tuesday it's gradually feeling better, which is a good sign.

"The good thing is I wasn't getting any numbness or any pain down my arm or leg or anything, so we've kind of ruled out anything with a disk probably," he said. "That's good. Today's better than yesterday, so that's all we can hope for and we move on from there.

"If the season was going on today, I would probably be able to play. But it's spring, so we'll take it easy -- nice and slow, no rush."

Markakis is coming off season-ending thumb surgery, and he 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, and he traditionally hasn't needed a lot of Grapefruit League action to get ready for the season.

Markakis hasn't done any baseball activities since Sunday, and he will continue to get treatment and be re-evaluated from there. Veteran starters like Markakis typically only play home games during the early portion of camp, and the Orioles play at home on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.