Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will undergo reconstructive surgery on the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) in his left knee on Monday, a procedure that will require a four-to-six month rehab and potentially delay his readiness next spring.
Machado's surgery will be performed by Dodgers orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles, and it doesn't come as a total surprise given that it was mentioned as a possibility for the 21-year-old, who initially planned on trying rest and rehab for four weeks.
"I sent my MRI results to a couple of doctors and knee specialists and we decided that in the long run and for my future as a baseball player, this surgery would be the best plan," Machado said in a quote released by the team. "I will immediately begin the rehabilitation process in hopes of being ready for the start of Spring Training."
Machado suffered a gruesome-looking knee injury and was carted off the field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Sept. 23, but the injury wasn't as bad as originally expected with test results revealing no MCL or ACL damage. The injury to the MPFL is common in younger athletes and was considered good news given how bad the initial injury looked.
"He has the full support of the Orioles organization with this decision," Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Machado, "and we look forward to seeing him back on the field in Sarasota at full strength."
Orioles pitcher Bud Norris tweeted: "Best wishes and a healthy recovery to our boy Manny. #birdland"
Named to the American League All-Star team in his first full season, Machado played Gold Glove-caliber defense at third base and had an AL-leading 51 doubles in 2013.
"We're not going to rush him back, but the six months is a conservative timeframe," Duquette said. "I'm sure that [missing Opening Day] is a possibility, but I'm also sure that Manny's intention will be to come as quickly as he can.
"Manny's recovery time will be determined by how he comes along. It's not going to be made in October."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli.