BALTIMORE -- The Orioles were dealt a potentially devastating blow on Monday night as Manny Machado left the game against the Yankees after crumpling to the ground clutching his right knee following a third-inning at-bat.
How serious the injury -- initially diagnosed as a right knee sprain -- actually is still remains to be seen. Machado, who had an X-ray that came back negative, is slated to have an MRI on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. ET, which should shed much more light on the 22-year-old's knee.
"It's been a lot more positive than the way it probably looked," manager Buck Showalter said of Machado's injury, which he sustained on a broken-bat ground ball and sent him writhing to the ground in pain. "I just got through talking to him a little bit. ... But he seemed in pretty good spirits considering. He's had some experience with it. We're hoping for good news tomorrow. There's a chance we may have dodged a bullet. We'll see."
Machado, who was able to be part of the team's handshake line following the Orioles' 11-3 win over New York, walked into the clubhouse without help and was hoping to keep the crutches up against his locker as merely decor.
"I hate crutches," said Machado, who underwent offseason left knee surgery to repair a torn medial patellofemoral ligament and missed the first month of the season rehabbing back from it. "I thought I put those down a long time ago. We'll see. I don't want to use them ... but I'm going to use them to stay off my feet. We'll see where it goes."
Machado said he had not watched the replay to look at what went wrong, but the television replay showed his knee buckling right as he went to swing. The All-Star immediately went down to the ground, and head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and Showalter rushed out to the field. Machado was helped off the field by the pair, hobbling while using Bancells and Showalter to help shoulder his body weight.
Asked for his gut feeling on what Tuesday's diagnosis might be, Machado said: "I have no idea. I mean it doesn't feel too bad, but we'll see. You can't really say something now, because we don't know what's going on in there. So whatever comes out of my mouth about it might be a lie or might not. So we'll just wait for the results. Hopefully, it is on the good side rather than the bad."
Showalter was equally hopeful and said Machado was in good spirits in his office postgame.
"If you've been through what he's kind of been through in the past, that initial feeling is pretty negative," Showalter said, "but the doctors have looked at it and everything. He's getting some best-case scenarios that we're going to dwell on until the MRI says something different."
A Platinum Glove Award winner and All-Star in his first full season in 2013, this year hasn't gone as smoothly for Machado, who also served a five-game suspension for a bat-throwing incident against Oakland.
Machado, who doubled in his first at-bat, has 12 home runs and 32 RBIs on the season and -- after a slow start -- had hit .346 with eight home runs in his previous 34 games. He was replaced at third base by Chris Davis, who hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth inning.
Any significant loss of time now would be a huge hit to an O's club already currently without shortstop J.J. Hardy (left thumb sprain). An integral part of the Orioles' 2012 playoff run, Machado had not missed a start from his callup in August 2012 until he sustained the season-ending knee injury last September.
Will the Orioles add another infielder, perhaps Steve Lombardozzi, as insurance?
"We don't have to," Showalter said. "It's certainly something we're considering. I was looking at it in the dugout. We actually looked at it before the game, because we had a similar subject matter where J.J. was concerned if we had to go there. Dan [Duquette] and I will talk shortly.
Miguel [Gonzalez is] scheduled to pitch tomorrow [in the Minors]. We're going to push his start back to Wednesday. His normal day was Tuesday. We're going to push him back. If we DL somebody, we could legally get him back."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less