Injured Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was in the Orioles' clubhouse Wednesday and promised to return in late October if his teammates make it to World Series.
"I'll be back, for sure," said the 21-year-old Machado, who has been in Los Angeles rehabbing since he had surgery on Aug. 27 to repair a partially torn ligament in his right knee. He arrived in Baltimore on Monday and said he will stay for the two games at Camden Yards before leaving Saturday for the club's spring training complex in Sarasota, Fla. to continue his rehab. Doctors told him it wouldn't be good to fly back and forth with the team during its postseason run.
"I'm just going to be a cheerleader here with the team and helping them in a way," Machado said. "But at the same time I've got to get my work done and people here have got to be focused."
Machado, who had left knee surgery last October and missed the first month of this season while rehabbing, said he feels great.
"I'm doing everything. Activating the muscles and trying to get my quads back. I'm basically full-go, [in a] couple weeks hopefully," Machado said. "I have full range of motion already, and hopefully, in a couple weeks, I'll start riding the bike and get that going."
He said he expects to be able tp work out in the Orioles' rehab pool in Sarasota next week. His goal remains to be ready for next year's spring training and he said that is still seemingly within reach.
"So far, so good," said Machado, who batted .278 with 12 homers in 82 games this year. "It's been going good and that's the goal. I haven't had a full spring training in a while, so I'm excited for it. Still got to look forward to my rehab first."
The Orioles have had a void at third base with Machado's injury and the suspension of Chris Davis for testing positive a second time for amphetamines . But Machado said he thinks it can be filled adequately this postseason, simply because these Orioles have been great at bouncing back from previous challenges.
"I think this is something we've dealt with in the past and I think that's why this makes us a special team, because we deal with adversity," Machado said. "If somebody's down or somebody's not doing well, somebody else is going to pick somebody up. We all back up each other and I think that's what they're doing here."
Machado was upbeat throughout his interview Wednesday, saying he doesn't feel left out while his teammates play in the postseason.
"I'm excited to be here. I'm as much a part of this team as anyone in here," he said. "We're all taking this moment in."