We all remember the day when Manny Machado fell to the ground after touching first base in Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay and feared the worst, but Machado will have a doctor's appointment on Friday, which could result in him being cleared to begin baseball activities.
Machado had surgery to repair his torn medial patellofemoral ligament in the knee by Dr. Neal ElAttrache on October 13. The procedure lasted 75-minutes and the normal recovery time for the procedure was conservatively estimated at six months. Despite the six month estimate, the Orioles remained encouraged that Machado would be ready for Opening Day.
Unquestionably that would be superb news for Machado and the Orioles as that would keep the Gold Glover on pace to be ready for Opening Day. He is already doing some running, lifting light weights and pool work, but being cleared for baseball activities would allow him to begin to build up his baseball stamina once again.
On January 16, Machado had a check-up with ElAttrache and the doctor told him that he was six to eight weeks ahead of schedule (per MASN's Roch Kubatko).
It is good news to the ears of anyone who supports the Orioles and all baseball fans in general. Machado was a constant on highlight reels last season that granted him an All Star selection, Gold Glove award and saw him finish with an average of .283 with 14 home runs, 71 RBIs and an AL-leading 51 doubles.
Having Machado in the lineup right away would be huge for the Birds as Machado fits in perfectly in the two-spot in the order as he can lay down a bunt, hit the ball the other way and drive in some runs when the bottom of the order gets on in front of him.
We have preached this all offseason, yes, it would be great to have Machado ready for Opening Day, but the key thing to remember is that the season is 162 games, and if he needs to miss 10 games in order to be 100% healthy, then so be it.
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