Markakis: "I'll be ready for opening day"

Nick Markakis said he'll probably be limited until maybe the first week into March after undergoing surgery earlier this month to repair a torn abdominal muscle. He doesn't need many at-bats to get ready for the season. He's not going to rush or do anything that sets him back. His body will largely dictate his schedule.

So far, it's cooperating with him.

"I'm feeling good," he said. "It's a sensitive area where I got cut open and as far as pain-wise, I don't have any pain. It's just uncomfortable. It's not being able to do certain things I want to do. It seems like a long recovery, but I know it's going to be over before I know it and then we'll be rolling.

"My first MRI, I think there was still some swelling in there and it wasn't able to show what it needed to show. Over the time before I got my second MRI, it got about 75 percent better. The last 25 percent...I knew something was wrong in there. I know my body and I knew something was wrong in there. I went to the trainers and they sent me out for an MRI."

After Markakis woke up from his surgery, sports hernia specialist Dr. William Meyers informed him that "it was a little worse than he thought."

"I'm just glad to get it done and I'm just ready to get it all over with," Markakis said.

"I'll be ready for opening day."

Nick Markakis tells the media about his surgery and that he will be ready for opening day at FanFest

Markakis said he's doing a lot of pool activity to "strengthen my lower half of my core. Starting to jog a little bit lightly. Each day, something new is added in and we'll go from there.

"This could be a good thing. I've never actually taken off a full off-season to rest. I talked to Aubrey (Huff) before I had my surgery, and he came off his best year after the surgery, and he was kind of on the same routine I'm on. He rested the whole off-season and he got back in the swing of things after he had his surgery in January. I'm not saying I'm expecting to go out there and have my best year, but we'll see how things play out and we'll go from there."

Markakis won't change his style of play because of the surgery. He'll still dive for balls in right field and crash into the occasional fence.

"It's fixed now, so if it were to happen again, there's nothing I can do about it," he said. "I'm not going to alter the way I play out there."

Markakis was asked about teammate Brian Roberts.

"That's one of those things that nobody really knows," he said. "It's a head injury and it's something serious you have to deal with. That's basically up to how his brain heals, I guess. You don't want to rush anything like that. It's a pretty serious injury."

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