Markakis cleared to resume baseball activities

Markakis cleared to resume baseball activities

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Nick Markakis, out for the past three weeks with a small disk herniation in his neck, has been cleared to resume baseball activities and will be on a three-day progression to return to spring games.

"He's going to start hitting off a tee [Friday], start some offensive progression and start throwing," manager Buck Showalter said of Markakis, who spoke with spine specialist Dr. Lee Riley on Thursday. "If everything goes well, you are talking three, four days [away from games]."

Markakis, who last played March 1, has been receiving regular treatment and said prior to Thursday's game that he's back to feeling normal.

"Full range of motion, no pain," Markakis said. "We're right where we want to be."

Slated to be the team's starting right fielder, Markakis has played in at least 160 games in three of the last four seasons. He's played in four games this Grapefruit League season, going 3-for-12 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is "Twin Lakes-bound" as Showalter put it, meaning he will get a lot of at-bats at the team's Minor League complex in order to be ready in time for Opening Day.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.