Good news from Baltimore: Manny Machado will likely be back on the field in early 2014.
The Orioles made the announcement Tuesday evening when executive vice president Dan Duquette, manager Buck Showalter and head athletic trainer Richard Bancells met with reporters in Baltimore before the O's game against Toronto, a day after Machado suffered a gruesome knee injury running out a groundball. Duquette said that doctors have eliminated that the injury is a torn ACL. Machado suffered a torn medial patellofemoral.
"That's good news, it's the type of injury where you can treat it conservatively, and our plan would be to treat it conservatively," said Duquette. "Overall it was a good report."
Machado will get a second opinion and proceed from there. "If the conservative measure works, he's ready for spring training," said Bancells.
The injury occurred when Machado was trying to leg out an infield single in the seventh inning of Monday afternoon's game against the Rays. He appeared to step awkwardly on the first-base bag and immediately fell to the ground, clutching his knee in pain. He remained on the ground for several minutes before being carted off on a stretcher.
Machado, 21, was enjoying a breakout season before his injury, making his first All-Star team and leading the American League with 51 doubles in his first full season. The Orioles lost all four games in Tampa Bay and now have a postseason elimination number of two, but this looks like as positive an outcome as Machado and the team could have hoped for under the circumstances; hopefully he can pick up where he left off next spring. JAFFE: Manny Machado's 2013 season was one for the ages