Orioles third baseman Manny Machado received good news today following his visit to orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
I’m told that Andrews’ recommendation matched up with the one provided by the Orioles’ medical staff. Machado will rest and continue down the same rehabilitation path for his left knee that the club has laid out for him.
Machado, 21, tore the medial patellofemoral ligament in the seventh inning of last Monday’s game against the Rays at Tropicana Field. He was wheeled off the field and received a MRI the following afternoon in Baltimore that revealed the damage.
The MPL is a smaller ligament that connects the medial side of the patella over toward the medial side of the femur.
Because Machado didn’t tear the anterior cruciate ligament or medial collateral ligament, Orioles orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens and head athletic trainer Richie Bancells believed that he could avoid surgery and be ready by spring training.
The Orioles will examine Machado’s knee again in about four weeks. Surgery could become an option later if rest and rehab don’t allow him to resume baseball activities, but for now, team officials are confident that he will be fine.
“Obviously it’s out there,” Machado said last week. “For now, it’s not in the back of my mind. I’m only 21 years old. I’m so young, my ligaments are going to recover faster than a 30 year old. That’s the first step, just steady rehab and let it strengthen on its own like it has before. If it doesn’t, then if there’s something else we have to do, which is surgery, if it gets to that point. Hopefully, it keeps getting stronger.”
Machado finished third in the voting for Most Valuable Oriole behind Chris Davis and runner-up Adam Jones. He batted .283 with 51 doubles - tops in the American League - 14 homers and 71 RBIs while starting all 156 games before the injury.
Machado also is a favorite to win a Gold Glove at third base.