As Orioles All-Star third baseman Manny Machado continues to deal with scar tissue in his surgically repaired left knee, he has admitted that the previous goal of being in the lineup opening day is in doubt.
“I don't know if I'll make opening day or not,” Machado said Sunday (via Associated Press). “It's not in the back of my mind. I'm not worried about playing games yet. I just want to get healthy. Once I get healthy I'll be ready to roll and keep playing and just get back into playing mode.”
Of note here is that on Saturday, manager Buck Showalter wouldn't rule out opening day but seemed to think it was a tall order. So the writing should be on the wall here, barring a very quick turn around.
Remember, Machado was originally scheduled for re-evaluation Tuesday, but that's not going to happen because of scar tissue and Machado's inability to run on the knee for almost a week.
“You don't want to force it and feel like something else is going to go wrong,” he said (AP). “Might as well just prevent it and not let it happen.”
“It's part of the process, scar tissue breaking up. It's normal after the surgery I had. It was going to happen now or later so I'm pretty glad it was now. Just sit back a couple days and let it heal and then keep going.”
Machado, 21, hit .283/.314/.432 (99 OPS+) with 14 homers, 71 RBI, 88 runs and an AL-best 51 doubles last season. He won the AL Platinum Glove as the best defensive player in the league, too.