Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado has been rehabbing his surgically repaired knee much longer than he would have liked. He obviously wants to get back out on the field as soon as possible to help his team. Machado will take two big steps this weekend in his rehab to bring his season debut closer to reality.
Eduardo Encina of The Baltimore Sun reported the 21-year-old will slide for the first time since surgery on Friday. If all goes well, he will start playing in extended spring training games on Saturday.
This will officially be the first action he's seen since going down with that knee injury last fall. Baltimore's plan is to have him play in three to five extended spring games before beginning a minor league assignment. Then, Machado has no more than 20 days to get himself ready for the big leagues.
Encina reports that front office executive Brady Anderson will be watching over the third baseman during his rehab assignment, which is likely to take place in Low-A, Single-A or Double-A.
Heading into their matchup against the Boston Red Sox tonight at Fenway Park, the Orioles own a 7-7 record in the American League East. Machado's return should provide more depth to a Baltimore lineup that could certainly use it.
In a league-leading 667 at-bats in 2013, Machado hit .283/.314/.432 with 14 home runs, 71 RBI and 88 runs scored. He also led the league with 51 doubles.
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