Machado not ruling out being ready for Opening Day
Third baseman says scar tissue causing pain in his left knee 'not a big deal'
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Manny Machado, who had the final re-evaluation of his surgically repaired left knee postponed since he hasn't run in six days, said Sunday morning that the missed appointment was not a big deal.
Scar tissue in the knee, which is causing discomfort and is a normal part of the process, has limited Machado lately, though he's still not ruling out playing Opening Day.
"Maybe. We don't know yet," he said of being ready by March 31. "Once I start running, I'll give you a better idea. I was getting close already to start hitting the bases a little harder at this time. I'm physically ready to go, [there's] just a little tightness. The scar tissue is beginning to break up. Once that gets done, hopefully I'll be ready to play games."
Machado could get enough at-bats to be ready, as manager Buck Showalter has pointed out, if the team sends the third baseman to play in games at the Minor League complex. Machado said he didn't consider the scar tissue a setback, just a part of the rehab process.
"That's something normal after the surgery that I had," said Machado, who had an arthroscopy and open reconstruction of the medial patellar femoral ligament in his left knee in October. "It was going to happen, either now or later. I'm pretty glad that it was now. Just sit back a couple days and let it heal and keep on going."
There's no timetable for Machado to run, and Showalter on Saturday ruled out Tuesday's previously scheduled medical appointment, which would have been used to determine if Machado could play in games.
"[The scar tissue breaking up] was going to happen," Machado said. "Basically this was going to happen. It happened now and it just set me back a couple days. It's not a big deal."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.