Can Victor Martinez return this season?

The Tigers issued a statement Wednesday morning and it sounds like there's an outside chance injured designated hitter Victor Martinez re-joins the club sometime during the 2012 season.

It turns out, Martinez had microfracture surgery on January 27 to repair both the MCL and LCL in his left knee. The estimated recovery time for this surgery, again, according to a Tigers' statement, is seven months. So that's an August 27 return. But then we have to factor in Martinez's ACL.

Initially thought torn, Martinez was scheduled to have his ACL repaired April 4. From the statement:

"Dr. Richard Steadman assessed the stability of the ACL in the left knee of Victor Martinez on April 4 and decided reconstruction surgery was not necessary. Dr. Steadman performed a procedure that day to help aid in the healing of the ACL."

Martinez will continue his rehab and have an MRI in July that will then determine whether or not he can return this season.

Martinez, 33, hit .330/.380/.470 with 12 homers and 103 RBI last season for the Tigers.

What if he does come back? The Tigers look like a club that can cruise to the AL Central title without him. But then say they add Martinez mid-September and hit the playoffs with him in a groove? That's a Miguel Cabrera-Prince Fielder-Victor Martinez combo through the middle of the lineup. Scary.

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