SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Manny Machado reported to the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training camp Sunday and got right to work. Still, he’s not making any promises about being ready for opening day.
Four months after having left knee surgery, the All-Star third baseman took batting practice and fielded grounders.
“I’m going to try to play as many games as I can. If I miss the first week or two weeks or whatever it may be, once I get going, I’m not going to stop,” Machado said. “I’m going to keep going and play.”
Machado injured his knee on Sept. 24 running the bases at Tampa Bay. He’s changed the way he runs to avoid future injuries, but for now, he’s still limited in what he can do. He’ll have another medical examination in about a month. If he’s allowed to, he’ll then be able to play in games.
Manager Buck Showalter estimates Machado will need about two weeks of exhibition games before he’s ready to play. Machado says, so far so good, at least after the first time out.
“Overall, I felt great. I’m just getting ready to get this show on the road,” Machado said.
Machado says the hardest part of his rehabilitation is holding himself back.
“I can’t overdo it at this point,” Machado said. “To go out there and be limited on what I need to be doing in what I can do, it’s tough. It’s not an easy thing to do.”
Showalter says he’ll rely heavily on Machado for guidance on whether he’s ready to play, but he won’t nag the third baseman.
“I do not want a setback,” Showalter said.
Machado appreciates Showalter’s hands-off approach.
“He knows I’ve gotten ready. I’ve put everything I needed to into my rehab, into getting back on the field. He’s seen it, and he has faith in me that I need to do what I need to do. It does help that they’re not coming up to me every day. Obviously, they have to ask,” Machado said.
“We’re not trying to be in first place in August, in July, in June,” Machado added. “We’re trying to make the playoffs, and to do that, we need to be mentally ready and physically.”
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)