PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter suggested prior to Saturday's game against the Rays that third baseman Manny Machado could run to test his left knee and calf as soon as Sunday.
Machado's rehab had been shut down recently due to issues with scar tissue breaking up in his knee and a mild strain in his calf.
"He was telling me the two days off really did the calf well," Showalter said. "I would bet he'd probably test that [Sunday]."
Machado said he still would not rule himself out for the season opener and, though Showalter agreed, the O's skipper said Sunday's test could be the determining factor for Machado's Opening Day status. If the third baseman doesn't come through the test pain-free, it will be very unlikely he'll be ready to take the field on March 31.
Showalter also confirmed Saturday that once Machado is ready, he will play only in Minor League games for the rest of spring. That way, if necessary, the Orioles can backdate his disabled-list stint to Saturday, making him eligible to come off the DL as early as April 6.