Nick Markakis has been diagnosed with a small disc herniation in the region around his neck. The Orioles’ right fielder will be out of action for about 7-10 days while the injury heals, according to MLB.com.
“Everything else structurally is fine; some of the things you worry about with it weren’t present,” said manager Buck Showalter, who still thinks Markakis will be ready for Opening Day on April 2nd vs the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. “So we have positive hopes for it to resolve itself.”
Markakis, who had an MRI in Florida on Monday, returned to Baltimore on Tuesday to be re-examined by spine specialist Lee Riley.
Initially expected to miss between seven and 14 days, the O’s OF has already been out of commission for a week. Showalter said that Markakis has been feeling better in recent days and that the news isn’t so bad.
“You’d rather it be nothing, just a spasm,” Showalter said of the C4-C5 herniation. “But when you start talking about [herniated discs], you hope you get that type of prognosis.”
Markakis underwent three surgeries (abdominal, right wrist and left thumb) in 2012.
He’s played in at least 160 games in three of the last four seasons. He’s played in four games so far in Spring Training, notching 3 hits in 12 at-bats with an RBI and two strikeouts.
He last appeared in a game on March 1st.