Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis, out for the rest of the regular season with a broken left thumb, is scheduled to fly down to Sarasota, Fla., on Monday and have surgery Tuesday in hopes that he could return if the Orioles go deep in the postseason.
Heading into the day, surgery appeared to be a season-ending option. But Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the doctor that performed Markakis' right wrist surgery in June reviewed the X-rays and CT scan on the thumb and believed surgery could give Markakis a chance to speed up the recovery.
Markakis said the procedure -- which he said would involve placing a T-plate in his thumb -- would cut the recovery time by three weeks, alllowing him to be ready to return in as soon as four weeks.
"I’m just going to go ahead and get it done and just get it out of the way," Markakis said. "I’d rather not get cut open again, but if it is for the best, I’m going to go ahead and get it done. Hopefully have a speedy recovery.
“They are going to go ahead and put a T-plate in there in the top of my thumb and screw it down and wait for it to heal.”
The surgery will be performed by Dr. Brian Schofield, the same doctor who removed a fractured peice of Markakis' hamate bone in his right wrist in June.
"Sure, I’m cautious and I’m optimistic," Showalter said. "Pretty ugly thumb today, black and blue and swollen. He knows there’s some looseness there. They need to bring it all together and they think it could potentially speed up the healing process. September is not an option. We hope to play good baseball and make October an option."
Markakis said the development was good news because it gave him hope that he could return in the postseason.
“Absolutely," Markakis said. "It’s just the healing process. It’s just like with my hand. It’s a (broken) bone. There’s no rehab process for it. It’s a matter of time, so hopefully my body can recover quick and hopefully I can make a run towards the end with these guys.”