The San Diego Padres are still missing the services of star infielder Manny Machado after he was recently placed on the injured list due to a hand injury, but he appears to be just on track to make a return to action sooner than later.

The Padres third baseman was seen taking grounders on Wednesday ahead of the second leg of San Diego's three-game series against the Washington Nationals on the road and even provided an encouraging update on his hand, per AJ Cassavell of

Manny Machado took grounders today for the first time and said his fractured left hand felt “all right” afterward. He still hasn't taken BP. That's the last remaining hurdle. Seems unlikely he'd be back by Friday, but he's making some notable progress.

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Machado sustained a hairline fracture in his left hand when he got hit by a pitch there in last Monday's series-opening game against the Kansas City Royals at home. He was pulled from the game before being diagnosed with the said injury. While it appears that he's unlikely to make his return before the end of the workweek, there is hope that he will be able to make it back to active duty this coming weekend, with the Padres next taking on the New York Yankees in the Bronx.

The 30-year-old Manny Machado has struggled at the plate so far in the 2023 MLB regular season in which he's batted just .231 with a .282 OBP and .372 slugging percentage. He also has just five home runs and 19 RBI through his first 156 at-bats.