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Machado could be cleared for activities soon

O's third baseman, who injured knee in September, has doctor's appointment this week

BALTIMORE -- Orioles third baseman Manny Machado has a doctor's appointment later this week, and it is expected that the 21-year-old will be cleared to begin baseball activities.

Machado suffered a season-ending left knee injury running to first base at Tropicana Field during a game against the Rays on Sept. 23, and Dr. Neal ElAttrache repaired a torn medial patellofemoral ligament in the knee during a 75-minute procedure on Oct. 14. The recovery time for the procedure was conservatively estimated at six months, although the O's remain encouraged that Machado will be ready for Opening Day.

Getting the green light this weekend would certainly bode well for Machado being ready by then, as he is already rehabbing in Miami with light weights, running and pool work. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said earlier this winter that Machado would have to be playing in spring games by mid-March to pencil him in for the March 31 season opener against the Red Sox, a target date he's very much on track for.

An American League All-Star in his first full season, Machado's presence has been invaluable since his promotion from Double-A Bowie in August 2012. Until his injury, he had played in every game since his promotion, including Baltimore's first 156 games in '13.

Machado, who also won a Gold Glove Award in 2013, batted .283 with 14 home runs, 71 RBIs and an AL-leading 51 doubles.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli.
Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Manny Machado