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Are the Tigers still AL Central favorites after Victor Martinez's injury?

A slow start or delayed rehab timetable from Victor Martinez could hamper the Tigers' chances at a fifth consecutive AL Central crown.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

So you signed a Victor Martinez and now he's broken? Well done, guys. Victor Martinez's knee injury came as a shock to Tigers fans who were just starting to get excited for spring training, which is just over two weeks away. Martinez tore his left meniscus and will have surgery next week, though his recovery timetable is still up in the air.

With both Martinez and Miguel Cabrera currently on the shelf, the Tigers could potentially go into Opening Day without their two best hitters. Did anyone envision April rolling around with J.D. Martinez hitting third in the lineup? Definitely not, and a setback in rehab from either slugger could hurt the Tigers' chances at winning their fifth AL Central Division championship in a row.

The gap between the Tigers and the other four teams in the Central had already tightened this offseason. The Tigers lost both Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello from their rotation, while the Chicago White Sox have added Jeff Samardzija, Melky Cabrera, and David Robertson. The Cleveland Indians are young and improving, and the Kansas City Royals are the defending American League champions. If Martinez and Cabrera are not ready for Opening Day, the Tigers could enter the season as divisional underdogs for the first time in five years.

Is it time to panic? That's up to you.