Detroit Tigers Star Victor Martinez out for Season with Torn ACL

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 15:  Victor Martinez #41 of the Detroit Tigers reacts after deing defeated in Game Six of the American League Championship Series by the Texas Rangers eliminating them from the playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 15, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Detroit Tigers catcher/designated hitter Victor Martinez will be out for the entire 2012 season following microfracture knee surgery to repair the medial and lateral meniscus in his left knee, according to the team's official website.

The report also said that Martinez will undergo surgery to repair a torn ACL, which he was originally diagnosed with two weeks ago, in about six to eight weeks. 

The Tigers made a big splash by signing first baseman Prince Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million contract after Martinez's original injury was diagnosed. 


What It Means

Microfracture knee surgery is not easy for any player to come back from. It doesn't help with someone like Martinez, who has never been fleet of foot, at age 33 to be the player that he was before. 

That is not to say it is impossible, and he is certainly a good enough hitter to be close to what we have seen throughout his career, but it is going to be a long, slow climb back up the mountain for him. When you add ACL surgery on top of it, his prospects don't look strong right now.  

The Tigers will likely get some financial relief this season assuming they have insurance on his contract, which pays him an average of $12.5 million per season. 


What Happens Next

For Martinez, he has to sit in a bed for the next six to eight weeks until he gets more surgery to repair his ACL. After that, he will likely be laid up for a few months before he is allowed to begin rehabbing his knees. 

He could be looking at June-July before he is able to start building up any real strength in his legs again. 

The Tigers don't have to worry about filling his spot in the lineup with Fielder and Miguel Cabrera locked into the No. 3 and 4 spots.

In a way, this actually works out well for them, because they can alternate Fielder and Cabrera at first base and designated hitter. 

Contrary to what Cabrera and the Tigers might have you believe, he is not capable of playing third base, unless the team doesn't care about defense.