Nick Markakis RF ATL Jan 03 '79

Nick Markakis (neck) is scheduled to serve as the Orioles' designated hitter in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game.

Markakis hasn't played since March 1 due to a slightly herniated disk in his neck, but he was cleared to return after making it through batting practice Monday without incident. While there was some doubt about his status last week, he now appears on track for Opening Day.

Nick Markakis RF ATL Jan 03 '79

Nick Markakis (neck) could serve as the Orioles' DH in a Grapefruit League game on Tuesday.

Markakis first needs to make it through batting practice on Monday. He has been fighting a sore neck for over two weeks but is expected to be fine for Opening Day. The 29-year-old makes for a solid second or third outfielder in standard mixed fantasy leagues this year.

Nick Markakis RF ATL Dec 31 '78

Nick Markakis (neck) hit light toss and off a tee, as well as doing some running on Friday.

He could do coaches' batting practice on Sunday. There's no timetable for his return to game action, but Markakis expects to be ready for the start of the season.

Nick Markakis RF ATL Dec 31 '78

Nick Markakis (neck) will hit off a tee Friday.

Markakis has been held out of action nearly all month due to a slightly herniated disk in his neck, but it appears he might be close to playing again. He expects to be ready for the start of the season, though the Orioles have offered no guarantees.

Nick Markakis RF ATL Dec 28 '78

Nick Markakis (neck) hopes to resume baseball activities by Friday or Saturday.

Markakis was diagnosed with a slightly herniated disk in his neck last week. He's expected to meet with a doctor this week, after which he could be cleared to resume baseball activities. He remains optimistic that he'll be ready for the season, though there's a chance the Orioles could play things safe.

Nick Markakis RF ATL Dec 22 '78

Nick Markakis (neck) said Wednesday that he's "pretty optimistic" he'll be ready for Opening Day.

Markakis was recently diagnosed with a slightly herniated disk in his neck and visited a spine specialist in Baltimore on Tuesday. He was given a 2-3 week timetable, but since he's already a week into it, there's still a chance he'll be ready for Opening Day. If not, the hope is that he would only have to miss a week.

Nick Markakis RF ATL Dec 21 '78

Nick Markakis was diagnosed with a slightly herniated disk in his neck.

The good news is that the normal recovery time for this sort of injury is 7-14 days. Markakis has already been sidelined for a week, so the Orioles are hopeful that he's halfway there. The 29-year-old flew back to Baltimore on Tuesday to see a spine specialist, but he's expected to return to Orioles' camp on Wednesday. If all goes according to plan, he should be fine for Opening Day.

Nick Markakis RF ATL Dec 20 '78

Nick Markakis went for an MRI on his neck Monday.

Markakis hasn't played since March 1 due to a stiff neck and was sent for the MRI after suffering a setback last week. The Orioles will look at the results Monday night and aren't expected to make an announcement on his status until Tuesday.

Nick Markakis RF ATL Dec 19 '78

Nick Markakis will have an MRI exam done Monday as a precautionary measure for a stiff neck that has bothered him since Sunday.

Markakis, 29, hasn't played since March 1 and was believed to be progressing until he suffered a setback Thursday. Manager Buck Showalter said he doesn't think there's any urgency with the injury but also shied away from downplaying it. The outfielder struggled with injuries in 2012 that limited him to just 104 games but played in at least 160 games in each of the three previous seasons, so he's fairly durable. We'll wait to hear the results of the MRI before getting too concerned.

Nick Markakis RF ATL Dec 17 '78

Nick Markakis (neck) will not return to Grapefruit League action on Sunday as originally planned.

Markakis hasn't done any baseball activities since Sunday due to a stiff neck. It stiffened up on him again Thursday, so the Orioles don't want to push it.