BALTIMORE — The Orioles and Manny Machado couldn't have asked for a much better diagnosis on his injured left knee: The third baseman avoided tearing any major ligaments and could be running in six to eight weeks without surgery.
An MRI exam Tuesday revealed Machado has a torn medial patellofemoral ligament. He will rest until the swelling subsides then go through a light rehabilitative program.
"The MCL is fine, the ACL is fine," Orioles head trainer Richie Bancells said. "All those major ligaments are fine. This is a smaller ligament."
The injury occurred Monday at Tropicana Field. Machado was running out a single and stepped awkwardly on the inside of the base. He tumbled and was taken off the field on a stretcher.
The Orioles feared Machado tore his ACL, which would have kept him sidelined into the 2014 season.
"I was relieved because it's a good report," said Dan Duquette, executive vice president of baseball operations. "If everything falls into place like we think, this is something he could recover from with rest. Of course, he's out for the rest of the season, but he will be able to come back and play next year."
Machado, 21, had played in every game this season and was an integral part of team's success. He's batting .283 with a .314 on-base percentage and a .432 slugging percentage and has played stellar defense.
LATE ARRIVAL: Because of a transportation issue, the Yankees were forced to hand out vouchers for a bobblehead giveaway honoring career saves leader Mariano Rivera to the first 18,000 fans who arrived for the game against the Rays. A public address announcement in the bottom of the third inning said the figurines were available to be picked up.
ACE IN PEN: Indians All-Star RHP Justin Masterson, out since Sept. 2 with a strained oblique muscle, will return this week and pitch out of the bullpen as Cleveland fights for a postseason spot. Manager Terry Francona said Masterson might be available tonight.
CRAIG UNCERTAIN: Cardinals 1B Allen Craig, out since Sept. 4 with a sprained left foot, is scheduled to have X-rays Thursday, calling into question his status for the postseason. Also, St. Louis LF Matt Holliday was out of the starting lineup for a third straight game with a stiff back.
HALLADAY DONE: Phillies RHP Roy Halladay, who left Monday's start in the first inning with arm fatigue, said he won't make his scheduled final start of the season Saturday.
REDS: RHP Mat Latos told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he has been pitching through an abdominal injury since late June.
ROCKIES: Hitting coach Dante Bichette will resign after one season, citing family reasons, the Denver Post reported.
WHITE SOX: Former Rays INF Jeff Keppinger is scheduled to have season-ending right shoulder Thursday.