Machado dealing with scar tissue and not running in rehab
Third baseman Manny Machado will not make his re-evaluation appointment that was tentatively scheduled for March 18, as he’s been unable to run for the past five days, further questioning whether the 21-year-old —who had offseason knee surgery— will be ready to start the season.
“There’s no sense in doing that [appointment] until he can really show them what he can do running,” manager Buck Showalter said of Machado’s final evaluation, which would give him the green-light to play spring games. “So, that’s got to get cleared up first, where he’s back running again. And then he can completely clear him again. I heard from Manny [operating surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache has] got a vacation home in Naples, so we are trying to hook that up. Anything to avoid having to go to the west coast, but if that’s what we have to do that that’s what we have to do.
Machado has been dealing with some scar tissue in his left knee, which has caused soreness and is to be expected, according to Showalter. But with no timetable on when he will resume running and see the doctor, it’s becoming increasingly less likely that Machado will be ready to suit up for March 31’s Opening Day.
“I wouldn’t say very, very difficult,” Showalter said of Machado’s chances to break camp. “Nolan Reimold is going to have 22 at-bats in two days [in Minor League camp]. In four days we can get Manny more plate appearances than guys over here are going to break camp with. That’s something if you so deemed it. So, certainly it looks like that way. I’m not there yet. I’m not going to throw that wet blanket over that yet. I know Manny’s not.”
Showalter said he has no firm date that he has as to when Machado needs to be cleared to remain a potential Opening Day player and he’s taking things day-to-day right now where his young All-Star is concerned.
“I look at the medical boards and at some point, I’ll say to [head athletic trainer] Richie [Bancells], ‘Is this a pipe dream or not?’,” Showalter said. “But it’s not, we look at everything, the roster we break camp with as some finality. It’s tough to convey that to the players.”
Showalter stressed that surgically, Machado’s knee is fine, which is obviously the most important thing in a surgery like this. The club has said all along that they won’t rush Machado —who won the Platinum Gold Glove for being the American League’s best defender in his first full season— with the idea being that once he’s back he will be an everyday player for the rest of the season.
“The way I understand it, it’s scar tissue that flared up and got a little sore and we decided not to push it,” Showalter said. “Which is what we talked about all along, we are not going to push it to the point where it ends up being something. We want to resolve this. The trainers have talked to the doctors, you expect that. The surgery side, the knee and everything feels great. That’s been the most encouraging part.”