Baseball / Sports

Showalter optimistic Machado can return from DL when eligible

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is optimistic that injured third baseman Manny Machado will return from a right knee ligament sprain when he's eligible to be activated from the disabled list Aug. 27.

"We've got a pretty good feel," Showalter said. "We've got our arms around it. Hopefully, it will manage itself during that period, and he will be back there or close to it."

But Machado appeared surprised at that timeframe when asked whether he believed he'd be back then.

"Two weeks?" Machado said. "Whenever I feel good. Whenever I feel good. Whenever I'm able to go out there and be Manny Machado. I don't know when that is going to be. It could be tomorrow, it could be in a month, it could be in three weeks. It's something that, it's a feel thing. Docs said yesterday it's more of how you feel. Once you get out there, once I do what I need to do and then how you feel."

Neither Showalter nor Machado could specify the degree of the sprain or the ligament affected.

Machado was placed on the 15-day disabled list before tonight's game and infielder Cord Phelps was called up from Triple-A Norfolk to take his place on the 25-man roster.

Showalter said Machado would have to begin baseball activities by around Aug. 24 in order to be ready to return when he is eligible.

"I feel like we have a chance to be pretty fortunate about it by the end of the month," Showalter said. "... It's not if, now, it's when, we think. He's going to work hard at some other things to strengthen the area and hopefully he can finish the season when the opposition lets us finish it."

Machado, 22, has suffered an injury to one of his knees three times in the past four seasons. In 2011, he injured his left knee while playing for Low-A Delmarva. He suffered a season-ending injury to the same knee last September, an injury that required offseason surgery and forced him to miss the first month of this season.

"Obviously, it is a great relief," Machado said about the diagnosis this time. "Those are things that, when it happens, things cross your mind, and you think, you assume already the worst. But you really can't assume anything until you actually see the results, and it is in front of your face. You have the doctor next to you helping you make those decisions. It was a relief."

This is the first injury to his right knee, but Machado will concentrate on strengthening the knee while resting the joint.

"Got to work harder," Machado said. "That's how I see it. Got to work harder to not get back into that situation. Now it's in my hands. It's something I've got to go and do. I've got to work harder than what I did. Guess I didn't work hard enough, so go out there and work harder and get back out there.

"Obviously, you don't want to be in the positions I am in right now. But it is all part of the game, part of life. Things you can't control. Those are the things you can't control. Those are things only God can control. I'm just glad it is not as bad as we thought and not as bad as it is. So get it stronger, get back and keep running forward."

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