Machado encouraged by news on knee, unsure about opening day

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles third baseman Manny Machado received the news that he expected Thursday in Los Angeles. Dr. Neal ElAttrache lifted the physical restrictions after re-examining Machado’s surgically repaired left knee.

Now what?

“I got taken off restrictive on my knee, so that’s good news,” Machado said this morning. “We’re just going to, at this point, take it day by day, how we’ve been doing. Obviously, haven’t ran in a while, so I’ll progressively continue doing that, get back to top speed, and after that, try to get into games. But just keep taking it day by day. Feel better and progressively get my speed back up.

“Everything looks fine. Knee looks great. Nothing but good things. At this point I’ll just get back out there running and getting back to top speed. And once I get there, I’ll go ahead and continue doing whatever I’ve got to do.”

Machado didn’t run while in Los Angeles. He was shut down due to scar tissue breaking up in the knee and a mild strain in his calf.

“No running. Just checkup, checking the MRI,” he said. “Richie (Bancells) sent over some running videos, so he looked over that. Overall, a regular checkup.”

Nine days remain before opening day, and Machado still can’t project whether he’s going to be in the lineup or on the disabled list.

“I have no idea,” he said. “I’m just worried about the great news I got, which was I could get out there. That’s the only thing I could control. It’s a matter of how many at-bats I could get, when I can start playing. Today, I can’t go out there and play a game. I’m not ready. I’ve got to get my speed back up. Ride the wave. That’s how I think about it, ride the wave.

“The whole year has been up and down with the rehab, and then just different phases for everything, just like different waves coming into the ocean. Just ride on it, take it, see where it takes me, get back out there, which is the great news. I can get back out there and put on a uniform as soon as I can.”

Machado is more focused on playing in a spring training game.

“We’ll see,” he said. “At this point, it’s something where we’ve got to run first. I haven’t run in quite a bit. Once I get through that, I’ll see how it goes.”

Once he’s cleared to run, how long until he can play?

“However long it takes me to run 100 percent,” he replied. “I’m not going to go out there and jog to first base and run a 5.6, 5.9. I’m going to go out there and try to run a 3.9. So however long it takes me to get my top speed back to where I need to be, that’s where it is. It could be a day. It could be two days. It could be a month away. We don’t know how that is.

“The only good news is that my knee is fine and now I have to take care of the little strain I have, but that’s about it.”

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