SARASOTA. Fla. – Nick Markakis returned to the Orioles on Wednesday hopeful that the small herniated disk in his neck won’t prevent him from missing Opening Day.
“It’s a two to three week recovery from time of injury, and it’s already been over a week, so another week or two,” Markakis said.
Markakis was scratched from the lineup on Mar. 3. He had an MRI on Monday, and flew to Baltimore on Tuesday to consult with neck specialist, Dr. Lee Riley.
He has six more days of a medication pack, and once he’s finished with it, he said: “it depends on how I feel.”
Opening Day is 20 days away.
“I’m confident that I’m going to be OK. Whether I’m there Opening Day or not, it depends on how my body reacts and how I feel,” Markakis said.
“If I were to miss Opening Day, I don’t plan to miss too much time, maybe a week, if necessary, but everything that I’ve heard and talking to the doctors, I should be fine. I should be ready to go for Opening Day and getting into the swing of things.”
Last year, Markakis didn’t play in spring training until Mar. 14 and had 24 at-bats. He has 12 at-bats already.
“I’ve already seen pitching. I know what to expect,” Markakis said.
“If I take another week to 10 days off and a couple of days of getting back into the swing of things, get into three or four games under my belt at the end of spring, I think I should be good.”
Last year, he had three surgeries, on his abdomen in January, his right hand in June and a broken left thumb in September.
“I can tell when something’s not right in my body, whether you can play through it or not,” Markakis said.
“The starting point is getting the pain and the inflammation out of there, and I think we’re on the right track.”