- Stephania Bell, Fantasy Sports
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1) As for the soreness in his calf and hamstring Machado experienced a week ago, which forced him to rest for a few days, ElAttrache suggested it was a minor and not entirely unexpected response to intense running. The graft to create Machado's "new" MPFL was harvested from his hamstring tendon and can become irritated initially when returning to run. "The scar tissue from the original injury coupled with the graft site make this an area that's easily strained when resuming running," ElAttrache said. Machado ran in a pool last week and worked on an elliptical machine to give the muscle some rest and says his discomfort has subsided substantially.
2) Machado will return to the Orioles' spring training facility in Sarasota to continue to rehab. As the local muscle strain resolves, he can be progressed to full speed running, turning corners and sliding. The next step would then be an appearance in a spring training game, although when that will happen is unclear.
It also remains uncertain whether Machado will be in the team's lineup on Opening Day when they host the Boston Red Sox. The priority is getting Machado back to full speed running, while getting at bats and adding reactive defensive work to help ensure confidence not only in his knee but in his overall readiness to play.
Still, Machado is clearly knocking on the door of a return to action, ahead of where even he thought he might be just a few months ago.