Manny Machado injury: Orioles 3B might be ready by Opening Day

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Machado's rehab has progressed quickly, putting him ahead of schedule.

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado might be ready for Opening Day, manager Buck Showalter told Brittany Ghiroli of

Machado underwent surgery in October after injuring his knee running out a groundball on Sept. 23. The Orioles initially estimated that Machado would need six months of rehab, following the surgery, but his rehab is progressing well and his timetable has been moved up.

Showalter discussed Machado with Ghiroli, telling the reporter:

"I think he's got a real chance to make the start of the season. [He] needs to play in [spring] games by March 15 to make the season."

Machado hit .283/.314/.432 in his first full season in the majors, leading the AL with 51 doubles and making his first All-Star appearance. The third baseman also played excellent defense at the hot corner, compiling 6.2 WAR.

The Orioles could move Machado to shortstop this season if they decide to part ways with J.J. Hardy, but no deal for Hardy appears imminent.

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