Manny Machado: "This is the biggest obstacle of my life"

Before he flies to Los Angeles tomorrow in advance of his right knee surgery on Wednesday, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado spoke one more time about his decision to have the procedure.

"It has to be surgically repaired," he said. "The only way it was going to be fixed was with surgery. Maybe we could have gotten it to the best possible position to perform, but came up short. It wasn't healing right. The knee cap still feels loose, like it's wobbling in there. The only way was to go in there and get the surgery done.

"One of the reasons (to do this now) is I want to have a spring training next year. If we waited for the surgery a little longer, it could be tough. Last year, it was completely torn. This is just a ligament they are going in and fixing the abnormality I have on that knee."

machado-frustrated-grey-sidebar.jpgDr. Neal ElAttrache will repair the medial patellar ligament, the same procedure he performed on Machado's left knee in October.

Machado hopes to return to the team at some point, but he wasn't certain when that would be.

"Hopefully I'll be back and we'll be celebrating at the end of this," he said. "The main thing is getting my rehab done. The game plan is get the surgery done, come back and be with the team.

"I'll have to be in L.A. for a couple of weeks. Just a month out of surgery, not sure I can be traveling much. But I will do my rehab in Sarasota right after the season is done. Hope I can be back for a celebration. Want to be part of this team, part of the special thing we have going on here.

"It was not an easy decision. Something you have to think through, something that is life-changing. It's a hard decision."

Machado was asked if there was a chance he could have continued to rehab the knee and been back in time for any postseason games.

"I made the decision to have the surgery, so obviously not," he said. "Wasn't getting any better, so to answer your question, no."

Now the rehab and recovery process, at least, will not be new to him. Maybe that makes for a smoother comeback this time.

"I hope so," Machado said. "I know what needs to get done. Second time should be a little easier. Hopefully this time around it's easier and a little quicker."

Does he have a concern that his knee issues will become a chronic thing that could hamper him throughout his career?

"Getting them out of the way now," Machado said. "Guess God did it like this for a reason. Just a year ago, I had to have my left knee done. Just meant to be. That is how I want to see it. Now we fix the problem that I had with my knees that was eventually going to happen no matter what. Hopefully I don't have any more knee problems."

Machado said there are exercises he will do to try and strengthen the knee for the future, just as he has been doing on his left knee after the surgery last October.

"Yeah, definitely. Going to have to make the exercises we do part of my routine. Just keep it strong around the knee cap," he said.

"My left knee feels very stable. It feels great. Can't complain, it feels better than before. Feels awesome and hopefully my right knee will be the same and I won't have any more problems."

Machado spoke of how tough it will be to not be on the field with his teammates as they continue to pursue the club's first American League East crown since 1997.

"I didn't want to do the surgery just because I know what we have here," he said. "Me being down (stinks). All I've done my entire life is play baseball and not being on the field (stinks).

"This is the biggest obstacle of my life. But it's part of life and there are a lot of roller coasters. Have to ride it out and stay mentally strong.

"But I'm still an Oriole. Still a member of this club. I will help this team any way I can."

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