Originally written April 11, 2012 on Fox Sports Detroit:
DETROIT -- Joe Maddon's nightmare might come true. After Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Tigers, Maddon said there was one bright spot about facing a Detroit lineup that includes Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. "At least they don't have Victor Martinez out there," Maddon said. "They got Prince, and people forgot a little about V-Mart. You put him out there with those guys? That's an absolutely phenomenal lineup." When Maddon said that, he was thinking about 2013. After all, Martinez is out for the season with a torn ACL, right? Maybe not. The Tigers announced Wednesday that Dr. Richard Steadman did not have to perform a full ACL reconstruction last week, but only did a small procedure designed to help the ligament heal. That means that Martinez's major concern is the microfracture surgery that was performed on the injury on Jan. 27. It is possible to return from microfracture surgery in as little as seven months, which could have Martinez back in the Tigers lineup by Labor Day. The next step will be an MRI in July to measure his rate of recovery. On one level, Maddon doesn't have anything to worry about. The last time the Rays play the Tigers in the regular season is at the end of June -- long before Martinez's possible return. Of course, the Tigers and Rays are both considered strong postseason contenders. Will Maddon be seeing a trio of Fielder, Cabrera and Martinez in October? Suddenly, it is a possibilty.

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