Duquette: Markakis injury no cause for concern

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette isn't ready to press the panic button on rightfielder Nick Markakis.

Duquette said confidently Friday he expected Markakis -- who had surgery Thursday to repair a torn abdominal muscle -- to be ready to return by the beginning of Spring Training.

"The Markakis surgery is a minor sugery," Duquette said. "He should be ready to go by spring training according to the doctors. From what I know about it, I'm not concerned. At his age and the way he keeps himself in shape, he should be ready to go in six weeks."

As was reported Friday morning, Markakis had been bothered by what he believed was a bone bruise in his abdomen, but doctors revealed a muscle tear. His surgery, performed by  Philadelphia surgeon and sports hernia specialist Dr. William Meyers, also included cleaning up scar tissue in the area, which meant he might have had been previously injured there.

In recent weeks, the Orioles have added outfield depth, signing free-agent Endy Chavez last month and acquiring Jai Miller in a trade with Oakland on Tuesday.

Duquette said the move to get Miller -- a 26-year-old who was designated for assignment by the A's last month after hitting 32 homers in Triple-A last season -- wasn't a reaction to Markakis' uncertain health.

"I just thought we needed more depth in the outfield," Duquette said. "It wasn't a direct response to Nick Markakis having surgery. The good thing about Miller is that he can play all outfield positions. I thought that was a plus. He has tools. He has power. He can steal a base and play defense."

Markakis has been unable to work out this offseason and said Friday he was just cleared to walk a mile.

The 28-year-old had been one of the club's most durable players. He played in 160 games last season, his fifth straight season of at least 157 games. He hit .284 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs. He also had a 1.000 fielding percentage and 14 outfield assists, earning his first Gold Glove.

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