Victor Martinez a ‘longshot’ for 2012 return

TOLEDO, Ohio — Victor Martinez remains “a longshot” to return this season.

Martinez, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while working out in January, underwent microfracture surgery but did not have to have complete ACL reconstruction.

An MRI taken at the end of June showed healing was going along on schedule but Martinez was not cleared to start running.

Danny Knobler of reported Tuesday morning that the Tigers were looking for a right-handed hitter because the odds of Martinez returning this season were only 50-50.

Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila, who was in Toledo for the Mud Hens Tuesday afternoon game, stressed that he is not a medical professional but wasn’t counting on Martinez this season.

“For me, that would be a longshot,” Avila said. “From what I understand, they want him to get 100 percent in the one leg before he starts doing everything on two.”

Even if Martinez were cleared for running and baseball activity, the fact remains he has not faced live pitching since the American League Championship Series last October.