Padres slugger Manny Machado unexpectedly makes a return from injury

The San Diego Padres faced an unexpected turn of events Thursday night when their slugger, Manny Machado, returned from his ankle injury. Machado returned on the first night of the series against the team’s biggest division rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Machado started as the team’s designated hitter and scored the only run of the game in the first inning on an RBI from Nomar Mazara. The Padres lost 3-1, but Machado’s return to the lineup definitely is a positive for San Diego.

Machado has the highest isolated power of the team (.218), wins above replacement (4.3), home run count (12) and is hitting the best at .327/.398/.545. He’s carried the lineup since the beginning of the season, and no other hitter in San Diego comes close to what he has this season.

Machado luckily avoided the injured list, but is reportedly still recovering from his ankle sprain.

San Diego Padres slugger Manny Machado still has healing to do

According to MLB.com, Machado was surprised to play last night. Machado stated, “For what it was, I’m surprised that I’m playing today. I’ll leave it like that.”

His return timeline was unclear, so it seems as though he came back on a whim last night. On Tuesday, Machado was fielding ground balls and running some bases to test his ankle. However, he reported to MLB.com that his ankle “wasn’t 100 percent.”

“I think the biggest test was the next day, for myself, if I was going to be able to walk. I was able to put some pressure on it. It wasn’t 100 percent, but I was able to put some pressure on it. That was a good indication that the ankle’s healing pretty well.”

He is seemingly making quick progress that will hopefully continue, but it will likely be longer before he makes a comeback at third base.