Dunedin, Fla. — J.D. Martinez is trying to be optimistic about this.
He took the protective boot off and walked around his apartment before he went to bed Tuesday night and his sprained right foot felt pretty good.
“To the point where I can almost walk normal,” he said Wednesday morning. “Then I was like, ‘Hey, can you jog?’ Um, maybe not.”
Worrisome too is how the doctors explained the injury — a ligament sprain in the middle of his foot — to him.
“The way they explained it to me is, it’s in a tricky spot and it’s going to be a week-to-week thing,” Martinez said. “You think it’s fine, then in a week you look at it and it doesn’t look fine. It’s one of those things you have to monitor from week to week and take pictures of it every other week.
“That’s kind of the route we’re taking.”
That’s not what you want to hear if your heart is set on being in the opening day lineup in less than two weeks.
“I am encouraged by the way I can walk and the way I can put weight on it — that’s what I am feeling good about,” he said. “But the anxiety is still there. I want to be ready by opening day and I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Martinez leaves Thursday for Charlotte, North Carolina. He has an appointment with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson. He is scheduled to take a stress CT test, a weight-bearing stress test.
From that, the Tigers hope comes a more definitive timetable.
“It definitely feels better; it’s feeling better every day,” Martinez said. “Just little by little. It’s going in the right direction, at least. I am keeping my head high on that. There is still some discomfort but I’m able to walk. So, it doesn’t seem too bad.
“They said if you are able to put weight on it, that’s a very positive sign. And I am able to.”
Martinez sustained the injury last Saturday, slipping as he made a long running catch.
“Just one of those freak things,” he said. “We were laughing about it in here. I actually changed my cleats that day because I didn’t want to slip. I’d worn the same pair all spring training. But I said, ‘You know what, let me change these and get a new pair.’
“Sure enough, I got my spikes caught in the grass.”