Orioles third baseman Manny Machado underwent a checkup on his surgically repaired left knee Thursday in California and, according to an industry source, it went well and doctors told the 21-year-old that he was six to eight weeks ahead of a normal recovery period.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed Thursday night that the club had received a good report on Machado's exam and that he was, indeed on or ahead of schedule.
Machado has been sidelined since Sept. 23 when he injured his left knee while running to first base. He was re-examined Thursday in California by Los Angeles Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed reconstructive surgery Oct. 14 to repair Machado's torn medial patellofemoral ligament.
Given ElAttrache's prognosis, if things continue smoothly, the belief is Machado will be ready to play Opening Day.
Machado has had a history of his left kneecap dislocating – it occurred in 2011 while playing for Low-A Delmarva -- and Machado decided it would be best to have surgery to fix the problem. At the time of the surgery, it was estimated that the recovery process would be four to six months. He is through three months of that recovery period.
He was hoping to attend this week's minicamp in Sarasota, Fla., but couldn't because of the scheduled doctor's appointment. He plans to get to Orioles' camp to continue working out about a week before pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 13.
Showalter said earlier this month that Machado would need to be ready to play in spring games by about March 15 to be ready for Opening Day at Camden Yards on March 31. This appears to be another step toward that goal.