CHICAGO — Here’s a complete transcript of what Orioles third baseman Manny Machado had to say before today’s game against the Chicago Cubs regarding his decision to undergo season-ending surgery to repair a partially torn medial patellofemoral ligament in his right knee. Machado said he hopes to have the procedure done next week in Los Angeles.
On when he knew surgery could be a possibility:
From the get-go, we knew it was partially torn, so it was in the back of my mind. Obviously, with the position we’re in now, you don’t want to hear about surgery. You want to try to get back out there on the field and be back with the team and help the team get to the playoffs and continue with my season, but it’s been a couple weeks now, and the pain hasn’t gotten any better. So I think it was just the best decision to get it done now rather than later and wait like we did last year. I think it got to the point where I just had to make a decision.
On how much his decision had to do with being ready for next season and correcting knee problems:
Obviously, one of the things, I have abnormal knees. That was one of the reasons this keeps happening. That was one of the reasons. We want to get it fixed now so that it wont bother me for the rest of my career. Obviously, it's August already, and if we keep waiting, its just going to make it worse and we're not going to be ready for spring training next year. I think that's a big part. I think we don't realize how big spring training is. This year, not having spring training kind of pushed me back a little bit, and, baseball-wise, you need those reps. Spring training is huge. I think with getting it fixed now, it's going to help me, and hopefully I'll be ready for spring training [and be] a full-go and be back out there.
On the resiliency of the Orioles to play well without Machado and catcher Matt Wieters:
It [stinks]. I definitely want to be there. I definitely want to be in the lineup. I want to be out there. But this team is strong. We have a strong group here. And we all have to deal with adversity. We did that this year, with me being out early and [Wieters] going down. We're going to fight. We have a lot of confidence going in and we have a great team here. We have what we need here to go forward, and I think this is a little valley for the team, but the best thing to do is to put it behind us and keep playing baseball, and I've got faith in my teammates. I know they're going to pick me up and I know they're going to move forward and hopefully win the division and the World Series.
On whether it's worrisome that he's had knee surgeries two seasons in a row:
It [stinks]. It's a bummer, it really is. But it's a part of life. I'm glad it happened now than a little later in my career when I'm older. I'm young now, [so] I'm going to recover faster. I'm glad it happened now. But it [stinks] having two knee surgeries in two years. But I guess it's just going to make me stronger as a person and as a man. I've just got to stay mentally strong and keep working harder.
On whether he sees himself being with the team:
I definitely want to. I’ll be out there [in Los Angeles] for a couple weeks getting checked up and doing some rehab, and hopefully I’ll come back and join the team and hopefully celebrate with the team. I’ve worked as hard as everybody on this ballclub, so hopefully we’re together at the end of the year cheering and celebrating.
On how frustrating it is to be out while team is closing in on the postseason:
It [stinks]. It really, really does. I was in the same situation in 2012, when the team made the playoffs. It was one of the best parts of my career, best parts of my entire life, being in the postseason. Being so close this year with it and going down with this injury, it’s really hard. This wasn’t a very easy decision for me. We knew the situation we were in with my knee from the get-go with the MRI. And it was my decision to try to go out there and try to make the best of it and try to get back on the field, because this is special. We have something special here, and it’s something you want to be a part of. I know me and [Wieters], it [stinks] watching the team play. It’s just tough. It’s something you have to deal with. It [stinks]. It’s really hard. It’s just something that’s going to make me stronger.
On whether he could have tried to come back this season:
We're doing what we have to do. We were doing everything according to the doctors in order to help it heal. It's a matter of the scar tissue healing up on its own. Just a way of nature, healing itself. I could have waited. It's been 11 days, 12 days now, and not one little sign of it getting better, so why keep waiting and lose time for next year? Obviously, we're thinking about this year and not next year, but at the same time, it wasn't getting any better. There wasn't anything we could do. The only thing was going in there and fixing it. It's just something that it wasn't getting any better at all.