Orioles' Machado: 'I just had to make a decision'

Orioles' Machado: 'I just had to make a decision'
August 23, 2014, 2:00 pm
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(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

CHICAGO – Manny Machado was hoping to play again this season. But, his right knee didn’t respond, and he’s going to have surgery on it next week in Los Angeles.

Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed surgery on Machado’s left knee last October, will perform the procedure. The date has yet to be announced.

Machado injured the knee on Aug. 11, and he came to the Orioles on Friday and told them he decided to have surgery.

“Obviously, with the position we’re in now, you don’t want to hear about surgery. You want to try and get back out there on the field and be back with the team and help the team get the playoffs,” Machado said.

“It’s been a couple weeks now and the pain hasn’t gotten any better, so I think it was just the best decision to get it done now rather than later and wait like we did last year.”

Machado injured the left knee at Tampa Bay on Sept. 23, and had the surgery done on Oct. 14. He didn’t play this season until May 1.

“I think it got to the point where I just had to make a decision,” Machado said.

The 22-year-old third baseman feels this will help him for the long term.

“I have abnormal knees. That was one of the reasons this keeps happening. That was one of the reasons, we want to get it fixed now so that it won’t bother me for the rest of my career. Obviously, it’s August already and if we keep waiting, its just going to make it worse and we’re not going to be ready for spring training next year,” Machado said.

“I think that’s a big part. I think we don’t realize how big spring training is. This year, not having spring training kind of pushed me back a little bit and baseball-wise, you need those reps. Spring training is huge. I think with getting it fixed now, it’s going to help me and hopefully I’ll be ready for spring training [and be] a full go and be back out there.”

Machado admits he’s worried by two knee surgeries in less than a year.

“I’m glad it happened now than a little later in my career when I’m older.  I’m young now [so] I’m going to recover faster,” Machado said. “I guess it’s just going to make me stronger as a person and as a man. I’ve just got to stay mentally strong and keep working harder.”

Machado is confident that the team will do well even without him. It’s prospered despite losing Matt Wieters in May due to Tommy John surgery.

“I definitely want to be there. I definitely want to be in the lineup. I want to be out there. But this team is strong. We have a strong group here. And we all have to deal with adversity,” Machado said. “We have a lot of confidence going in and we have a great team here. We have what we need here to go forward and I think this is a little valley for the team but the best thing to do is to put it behind us and keep playing baseball and I’ve got faith in my teammates. I know they’re going to pick me up and I know they’re going to move forward and hopefully win the division and the World Series.”

Machado hopes to be with the team for some of the season, but will probably have to rehab the knee in Los Angeles immediately after surgery.

“Hopefully I’ll come back and join the team and hopefully celebrate with the team. I’ve worked as hard as everybody on this ballclub so hopefully we’re together at the end of the year cheering and celebrating,” Machado said.

“It was my decision to try to go out there and try to make the best of it and try to get back on the field because this is special. We have something special here and it’s something you want to be a part of,” Machado said.

“I could have waited. It’s been 11 days, 12 days now and not one little sign of it getting better, so why keep waiting and lose time for next year. Obviously, we’re thinking about this year and not next year, but at the same time, it wasn’t getting any better. There wasn’t anything we could do. The only thing was going in there and fixing it. It’s just something that it wasn’t getting any better at all.”

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