Manny Machado will miss Spring Training and almost certainly be delayed to start the 2014 regular season, as the Orioles third baseman's recovery timetable following Monday's knee surgery is approximately six months.
Machado's procedure to repair the torn medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee went as expected, according to performing surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles. The 75-minute surgery included an arthroscopy and open reconstruction of the MPFL, and a hamstring tendon was used to graft a replacement for the ruptured ligament.
Machado sustained the injury and was carted off the field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Sept 23, but the injury was not as bad as originally expected, with test results revealing no MCL or ACL damage. The injury to the MPFL is common in younger athletes and was considered good news given how bad the injury looked.
The 21-year-old Machado opted to have surgery after consulting with numerous doctors with his MRI results, and any absence could be a big blow for Baltimore. Named to the All-Star team in his first full season, Machado played Gold Glove-caliber defense at third base and had an American League-leading 51 doubles in 2013.
The O's primarily used Ryan Flaherty in Machado's absence in the final week of the season, with Danny Valencia and Jonathan Schoop -- rated the O's No. 4 prospect and top position player by MLB.com -- other potential options currently on the team's 40-man roster.
Machado -- who started every game from his debut in 2011 until the injury -- is still projected to play a bulk of the regular season.
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.Less