Tigers fully expect Fulmer to be full-go for spring training

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Michael Fulmer

Detroit — Finally, Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer got a bit of good news.

When renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews put an arthroscope to Fulmer’s ailing right knee Thursday morning, he found relatively minor ancillary damage around the torn meniscus.

“We were pleasantly surprised with what Dr. Andrews saw when he got into the knee,” said Doug Teter, the Tigers head athletic trainer. “It wasn’t as in-depth or in need of as much work as we thought it may.”

Dr. Andrews performed a partial meniscopy to repair the lateral meniscus and he also smoothed some of the roughened bone surfaces.

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“He had a couple of processes in the past on his right knee when he was with the Mets (2013),” Teter said. “Anytime you have work on your meniscus, it’s never the same, obviously. But this was more of a clean-up.

“The word reconstruction doesn’t apply in any sense of the word here.”

Fulmer will begin physical therapy immediately, Teeter said.

“From there he will work to get his range of motion back and then work on strength,” Teter said. “From there, we will add baseball activity. At that point, he will join us in Lakeland.”

Fulmer is expected to be full-go at the start of spring training in February.

“Everything went good,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I know he was happy about it. He texted me and he was excited how everything went. He’s been through this before. I just told him, ‘Don’t fall out of a deer stand.’ And I’m serious.

“He told me he’s going to put blinds on the ground this year.”

The next hurdle for Fulmer will come when he gets back on his pitching regimen. Since this has happened three times now, where he’s stressed the meniscus on the knee of his drive leg, is there something in his delivery that needs to change?

“He might have to make a mechanical change,” Gardenhire said. “Whatever they think. But one thing you don’t want to do is make a mechanical change and it ends up hurting his arm. But dragging that back foot might have to change a little bit.”