'Nothing major': Victor Martinez tweaks knee

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez runs on his fifth-inning RBI-groundout against the New York Yankees Sunday in New York.

Chicago – It’s been an irritant the past couple of weeks. But after he hit bag at first base hard on an infield single Sunday in New York, it became a full-on concern.

Victor Martinez was not in the lineup Monday, following an MRI on his right knee.

“There was no major structural issues,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “But there’s some bruising in there that’s creating soreness for him.”

There is at least some relief that it’s the right knee and not the left, which has been twice surgically repaired. And Martinez insisted this was a minor hiccup.

“It’s just a little tweak, nothing major,” Martinez said. “I’m getting old.”

Martinez will be available to pinch-hit, but Ausmus said the team will determine his playing status on a day-to-day basis.

“The bruising is tough to get out,” he said. “It doesn’t bother him to hit, but every time he starts running or he hits a bag, that’s when he re-aggravates it a little. We are going to try and get him through it, just using him based on how he’s feeling.

“He’s not going to play tonight and we will re-evaluate on a daily basis. Hopefully we can get through it and knock this thing out without any major time being missed.”

It was not an easy thing for Ausmus to scratch Martinez from the lineup, not on the road and not against the White Sox. Martinez has the second highest road average in the Major Leagues (.393) and nobody has done more damage against the White Sox than he has.

He leads all active American League players with 216 hits, 112 RBIs and a .404 on-base percentage against the White Sox. His 28 home runs against them is tied for most and his .334 batting average is second.

Nick Castellanos was moved into Martinez's cleanup spot and J.D. Martinez served as the designated hitter Monday. Mike Aviles started in right field.