Machado says he's not guaranteeing Opening Day

Machado says he's not guaranteeing Opening Day
February 1, 2014, 4:15 pm
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Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) runs back to the dugout at the end of the first inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

BALTIMORE – Manny Machado’s recovery from knee surgery is going well. However, he’s not guaranteeing that he’ll be ready by Opening Day.

Machado had surgery on his left knee on Oct. 17. On Friday, he met with his surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles, and was given good news. At the time of his surgery, Machado was told it would take four-six months before he was ready to play.

“It’s great news. I’ve definitely been cleared for some baseball activities. Not full go yet. It’s a process. Little-by-little I’ll be able to get back out there and play,” Machado said.

He’s not positive that he’ll be ready for the March 31 opener. He’ll be re-evaluated in six weeks.

“I’m not confident. I’m confident I’m going to be ready in a couple of weeks, but I can’t give you a real timeline when I’m going to be ready,” Machado said.

“I’m only 3 1/2 months out of surgery. This takes four-six months.”

Spring training begins Feb. 13 and games begin Feb. 28. Machado won’t be playing in early exhibition games.

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“There’s no shot. Probably late March, mid-March, around then. I haven’t had any setbacks,” Machado said.

Manager Buck Showalter, who said that if Machado is playing in spring games by mid-March, he could play Opening Day, has told his third baseman not to push his recovery.

“He knows everything that’s going on. He knows whenever I’m ready,” Machado said. “He’s not going to rush it. He tells me all the time, ‘don’t rush it. Keep going how you’re going. You’re going to be fine.”

Machado has just started running.

“Once I’m cleared to play, let’s see how I’m feeling when I slide,” Machado said. “How do I feel the next day? Is it going to be achy? Is it going to be hurting?”