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Victor Martinez Has Follow-Up MRI

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Detroit, MI - SEPTEMBER 23:  Victor Martinez #41 is embraced by Miguel Cabrera #24 as Alex Avila looks on after the 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park on September 23, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Jorge Lemus/Getty Images)

Detroit, MI – SEPTEMBER 23: Victor Martinez #41 is embraced by Miguel Cabrera #24 as Alex Avila looks on after the 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park on September 23, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jorge Lemus/Getty Images)

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez has undergone a follow-up MRI exam that shows improvement in his injured left knee.

Martinez, who had microfracture surgery in January and had the medial and lateral meniscus in the knee repaired, was examined Thursday by Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo.

“As far from a physical standpoint, from a stability standpoint, his knee looks great, but at this point in time his single leg strength on that side isn’t where it needs to be to begin running,” Tigers trainer Kevin Rand said before Thursday night’s game against Tampa Bay. “If all goes well and he checks out to be that the strength in that leg is equal to the right side, then he would begin a (monthlong) running progression the beginning of August.”

The best case scenario for Martinez to return this season is mid-to-late September.

“I came into the season thinking that if we had Victor at all this year it would be a bonus,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “I can’t answer whether that’s going to happen or not.”

Also, right-hander Al Alburquerque, on the 60-day disabled list following right elbow surgery, is scheduled to throw batting practice two more times before being re-evaluated to see if he’s ready to pitch in minor league games.

Andy Dirks, sidelined by right Achilles tendinitis, will be re-examined Friday at which time the outfielder could be cleared to resume some activity.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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