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Detroit Tigers injury updates: Victor Martinez will play Sunday vs. Indians

Martinez is batting fourth as the designated hitter in today's lineup. Justin Verlander and Bruce Rondon are heading in opposite directions with their respective rehabs.

Jason Miller/Getty Images

After tweaking his left knee on a "hellacious hack" in an at-bat during the Detroit Tigers' wild 9-6 victory over the Cleveland Indians yesterday, Victor Martinez appears to be OK. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has Martinez penciled into today's lineup against Tribe lefthander T.J. House. Martinez is batting fourth, as usual, and will be the designated hitter.

I'm not concerned because I've been here before," Martinez told MLive's Chris Iott after yesterday's game. "The same thing happened two, three years ago when I lost the whole year. I had to deal with it for quite a bit."

The left knee that Martinez tweaked is the same one that he underwent surgery on less than nine weeks ago. Martinez progressed quickly through his rehab, and returned to action in spring training close to the early end of the initial six-to-eight week timetable laid out after the surgery.

Martinez said that he felt a "pinching" along his kneecap during the swing, which left him limping throughout the rest of his at-bat. He eventually singled in a run, but was removed from the game. The sensation that Martinez felt is likely due to a slight decrease in joint mobility, particularly with the rotational motion of Martinez's swing. This is common in individuals who have recently had surgery, and is probably nothing to be concerned about going forward.

The Tigers head to Pittsburgh for a three-game interleague series with the Pirates starting on Monday. With an off day following that series on Thursday, Martinez could have up to four days off following this afternoon's series finale against the Indians.

Martinez isn't the only gimpy Tiger trending in the right direction. Justin Verlander, who is currently on the 15-day disabled list for a right triceps strain, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session in Cleveland on Sunday after throwing 30 pitches from a mound on Saturday. The Tigers are being extremely cautious with Verlander, and Ausmus would not even estimate a potential return date for his star righthander. The Tigers want Verlander to throw a simulated game before he returns to action, so my estimate that it will be at least another week before we see him back in action.

Bruce Rondon's outlook is not so rosy, however. The right-handed flamethrower continues to have soreness in his biceps tendon, delaying his return to throwing. Rondon had an MRI when he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with biceps tendinitis, but the scan showed no structural damage. Rondon will not throw until he is completely pain-free.

The Indians placed catcher Yan Gomes on the 15-day disabled list with a knee sprain on Sunday. Gomes underwent an MRI on Saturday after Rajai Davis slid into Gomes' left leg on a close play at home plate. Gomes left the game immediately after the play, and backup Roberto Perez will be in the Indians' lineup again today. The Indians are still trying to determine the extent of Gomes' injury.


Tigers lineup:
  1. Rajai Davis, CF
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Victor Martinez, DH
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF
  6. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
  7. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  8. James McCann, C
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS
Indians lineup:
  1. Michael Bourn, CF
  2. Mike Aviles, SS
  3. Jason Kipnis, 2B
  4. Carlos Santana, 1B
  5. Jerry Sands, LF
  6. Brandon Moss, RF
  7. Ryan Raburn, DH
  8. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
  9. Roberto Perez, C