While he has made significant progress after tearing his left ACL in January, injured Detroit Tigers slugger Victor Martinez still has a way to go before returning to the field, making Mike Illitch's bold proclamation of an August return appear entirely too optimistic. Chris Iott of MLive.com spoke with Tigers trainer Kevin Rand on Thursday to gauge V-Mart's status:
Victor Martinez will spend July building strength in his injured leg. Will begin running progression in beginning of August. #Tigers— Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) June 28, 2012
Tigers trainer Kevin Rand said best-case scenario for Victor Martinez to play for Tigers is mid-September to late September. #Tigers— Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) June 28, 2012
The hope that Martinez would arrive in late August and provide that one big spark to somehow pull Detroit into playoff contention is nothing but a pipe dream now, which is a complete shame. But at the same time, the fact that this news comes now is especially valuable for Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski as he explores trade options, knowing full well that his .300-plus hitter might not even be back in time to play a role in the playoff race at all.