Tigers resisting cortisone shots for Victor Martinez

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Cleveland — On June 12, Victor Martinez got a cortisone shot in his ailing right knee. He sat out three games, came back on June 16 in Kansas City and hit three home runs.

It seems Martinez’s surgically-repaired left knee has been bothersome for him of late. But as of Friday, the Tigers have not discussed giving him another cortisone shot, and according to head athletic trainer Kevin Rand, there is no pressing need for it.

“Victor is 38 years old,” Rand said. “He’s playing every single day out there. He’s an older player. He has some good days and some bad days.

“He works very hard, works hard to keep himself out there. Some days he’s going to feel better than others. Day games after night games are a little more difficult.”

Martinez, who did not make himself available to the media before Friday’s game, has been struggling at the plate and he hasn’t once complained about his health. Hitting coach Wally Joyner said in an interview with Fox Sports Detroit that Martinez has been playing hurt.

And it is clear, looking at his at-bats, that he’s having trouble getting his legs into his swing, especially from the left side — which is where the weight is loaded on the left leg.

“His right-handed swing looks all right, though I know yesterday wasn’t great (0 for 4),” manager Brad Ausmus said. “But that knee is going to be bothering him, from time to time, for the rest of his life.”

In 17 games since he was ejected from the game on Aug. 27, he’s hitting .185, with a .254 on-base average and a .262 slugging percentage. He has two doubles, one home run, one RBI and 14 strikeouts in 71 plate appearances.

Since he made a hard, awkward slide into second base on Sept. 2, he’s hitting .204 in 13 games.

“I talk to him from time to time and he always says he’s fine,” Ausmus said. “But him being fine is still him dealing with the (knee) issue, though. That’s going to be there the rest of his life.”

Martinez takes treatment on his knees and back every day. Rand said he didn’t think there was a need for another cortisone shot, but added, “We do whatever medically is necessary at a given time.”

There is a window for another shot to be administered with Martinez only missing one game.

“If we thought he needed another one, we could probably do it tomorrow (Saturday) after the game,” Ausmus said. “He would sit Sunday, then have Monday off (an off day for the team) and be ready to play on Tuesday.

“But, that has not been discussed.”

Twitter.com: @cmccosky