Well, this seems like just about the perfect news to wake up to on this rainy, dreary Friday in Charm City.
After being told by two doctors that surgery wasn’t necessary, and that a few months of rehab would get the job done, it appears that Manny Machado’s knee isn’t quite where they’d hoped it would be several weeks post-incident. The young phenom is indeed electing to have a surgical procedure done to repair his medial patellofemoral ligament. Recovery and rehab schedule is 4-6 months.
Do that math real fast, Birdland.
Four months from today, should Machado have the procedure right now, is about February 11. Six months? April 11.
So, best case, Machado is back right around Spring Training. Worst case, very early in the 2014 season.
This probably makes a lot of sense. As Roch Kubatko points out, Machado has had an issue with this knee before, though a less serious version of the same injury (a left patellar subluxation in 2011 with Delmarva). A doctor that Roch spoke with called the issue “chronic” for Manny.
“It definitely is (chronic),” said Gene Shirokobrod, a doctor of physical therapy and certified orthopaedic manual therapist based in Clarksville. “He’s still a young kid, tall and lankly. When he walks, his knees point inward – it’s called ‘valgus’ – which predisposes that. But he’s still growing. He needs to increase the overall musculature of the leg, which will help him out a lot.
“It’s always a little concern, but it’s not a huge concern. If the kneecap continues to dislocate, the player usually gets surgery. There’s a lot of ways to fix it, but rehabilitating it is fairly effective.”
When described as a “chronic” injury, it sounds a lot scarier than it did previously. While O’s fans obviously don’t want to hear that the future of the franchise is going under the knife, we need to remind ourselves that this is (hopefully) a good preventative step.
What if Manny rehabbed the knee all winter, got to Sarasota, and then it popped out again in Mid-March? Then he’d likely be having this same procedure, but it would cost him most or all of 2014.
In a quote, per Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com, Machado described his thought process:
“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 team-released quote. “I will immediately begin the rehabilitation process in hopes of being ready for the start of Spring Training.”
Here’s wishing Manny a successful procedure, and a full and speedy recovery. See you in Sarasota. Hakuna Machado.