Following another successful day of running the bases Thursday in Sarasota, Fla., Orioles third baseman will take another step toward returning to game action.
Machado is expected to begin sliding drills Friday, his final step before he is able to play in extended spring training games, according to a club source.
This would be the first time Machado has tried sliding since offseason surgery to repair a torn medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee. He was shut down during spring training because of a calf strain just before starting sliding drills.
If all goes well, Machado will begin playing extended spring training games Saturday. That will be the first time he has played in an actual game since the surgery; he has accumulated at-bats in simulated games in Sarasota.
He would play three to five extended spring games in Sarasota before the club sends him to a rehab assignment with a minor league affiliate. He will then have a 20-day window to get ready.
The Orioles would like to keep Machado nearby once he goes on a minor league assignment, so he will likely go to Double-A Bowie or High-A Frederick, or possibly Low-A Delmarva.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter has said front office executive Brady Anderson will likely oversee Machado’s progress once he reports to a minor league team.