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Prado expects to miss Opening Day

Third baseman has Grade 1 right hamstring strain
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

JUPITER, Fla. -- Martin Prado has a Grade 1 right hamstring strain and a slight upper right calf strain, and the Marlins' third baseman does not anticipate being ready for Opening Day.

As discouraged as Prado is about not being ready for the regular season, he's also relieved by the results of his MRI, because he feared the worst.

JUPITER, Fla. -- Martin Prado has a Grade 1 right hamstring strain and a slight upper right calf strain, and the Marlins' third baseman does not anticipate being ready for Opening Day.

As discouraged as Prado is about not being ready for the regular season, he's also relieved by the results of his MRI, because he feared the worst.

"Best scenario now is not Opening Day," Prado said on Sunday morning. "I'm just hoping we can get fixed and not worry about feeling this during the regular season."

Marlins manager Don Mattingly said there is no timetable on Prado's return. Foremost, the club wants their third baseman to get healthy.

"We're just not putting a timetable on it, because that's the problem, too," Mattingly said. "We say, 'Oh, he's only going to miss two weeks.' Then that two weeks comes and he's thinking, 'I've got to be ready by then.' If he's not quite ready, then he's not quite ready. So I'd rather say, 'We're going to get him healthy. Make sure he's healthy.'"

Prado was injured on Wednesday in Venezuela's 4-2 loss to Team USA in the World Baseball Classic at Petco Park in San Diego. On Saturday, he had an MRI taken in South Florida.

Video: VEN@USA: Prado leaves game with leg injury

"I was worried, yeah," Prado said. "I didn't know what it was. I didn't know exactly what was going on with my leg. After I talked to the doctor, I was just concerned and disappointed that I let my teammates down. I let the Marlins down because I was not able to come back here healthy."

Playing for his country, Prado was running to first base after hitting a ground ball, but he pulled up as he approached the bag. The Venezuelan medical staff tended to him as he left the game.

"It was one of those plays, I hit a ground ball to the middle and I thought I was going to beat it," Prado said. "But in between home plate and first base, I felt a pinch, something like a needle in my hammy. I started slowing down, and while slowing down, I was feeling it more."

Prado returned to South Florida, where he was examined by the Marlins' physicians.

With Prado expected to open the season on the disabled list, Derek Dietrich and Miguel Rojas are lined up to handle playing third base. The Marlins are also having conversations about other options, perhaps outside the organization.

"The roster part, I think we just wait," Mattingly said. "There's no reason for us to have to make any decisions. We'll have discussions, they've already started on different scenarios. As we get to the end of camp, we'll have a probably really good feel of how long Martin is going to miss, or at least a pretty good estimate. That will help us make a decision."

The Marlins open on April 3 at Washington, giving Prado a couple of weeks to rest before the season begins.

"I want to make sure I'm 100 percent the whole way, and not trying to rush," Prado said. "First of all, we're going to get pain-free running, that's basically our main goal now. After that, [I want] to be strong, to hold up and have a healthy hamstring."

Prado is one of the Marlins' team leaders and top players. The 33-year-old batted .305 with eight home runs and 75 RBIs in 2016.

In the past, Prado has dealt with left hamstring issues, but nothing to his right leg. Until he had the MRI, he was unsure about when he could return.

"I was not sleeping," Prado said. "I was like, so worried about myself, worried about the team, worried about the future and everything. After I talked to the doctors, it was a big relief for me."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miami Marlins, Martin Prado