DETROIT -- There was a familiar face in the Tigers' clubhouse Monday that the team has yet to see during the regular season. Victor Martinez, sporting a brace that extended from his left ankle to just above his knee, made his first appearance in the clubhouse.
Martinez, who had just completed a physical therapy session and continues his efforts to recover from tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in the offseason, appeared in good spirits as he joked with his teammates at his locker and -- only 10 days after shedding his crutches -- did some dancing.
"I can't tell you how happy I am," said Martinez of not needing the ACL reconstruction surgery, which gave him hope that he could return by the end of the season. "I definitely want to be part of this. This is something special that you guys are seeing. It's really [tough] to be out and not be part of it."
Martinez will be with the team for the series against the Royals and will fly out to Colorado next week to meet with Dr. Richard Steadman, who will re-evaluate his knee. It's not a long stay, but one that Martinez needed.
"I just get desperate watching the game," Martinez said. "I grab a bat in my house, [and] my wife gets crazy: 'Don't kill me with the bat. Leave the bat in there.' ... It's tough."
Martinez said the doctors gave him a 20 percent chance of not needing the reconstruction surgery. When asked if his doctors said a September return was possible, he responded, "That's exactly what they said."
"Doctors say there is a [good] chance to play at the end of the year, just because I didn't need the whole reconstruction," Martinez said. "Keep my fingers crossed, keep working hard and see what happens."
He also had a plan for his crutches.
"I'm going to [make] some firewood with them," Martinez said.
Fister could return to Tigers' rotation Monday
DETROIT -- Doug Fister, who is scheduled to make a rehab start for Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday, could be back with the Tigers as soon as next Monday, manager Jim Leyland said.
Leyland and pitching coach Jeff Jones will travel Wednesday to Toledo to watch Fister pitch against Pawtucket. The plan is for Fister to throw about 75 pitches, and if all goes well, rejoin the Tigers to start in Seattle against his former team in the first game of a nine-game road trip.
Fister has been sidelined with a left costochondral strain since April 7, when he threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings and 53 pitches against the Red Sox before being pulled from the game.
His recovery has been a longer process than expected, but after throwing a 50-pitch bullpen session Thursday and then topping that count Saturday, the team is hopeful to see him back on the mound soon.
Scherzer trying to correct April struggles
DETROIT -- Max Scherzer has a 1-3 record and 7.77 ERA in four starts this season. After issuing seven walks Sunday against the Yankees, the Tigers right-hander sat down with Jim Leyland and pitching coach Jeff Jones for about two hours Monday to try to figure out what's wrong.
They went over tape from 2011, when Scherzer began the year undefeated in April with a 4-0 record and a 3.19 ERA. What they learned is that Scherzer needs to tweak his windup.
"You could see a lot of difference [comparing this year to last]," Leyland said. "His hands are separating a lot different than they were at a lot of different points in his delivery.
"Now, is that the total answer? I don't know that, but there is some flagrant differences. We hope we've corrected that, and the best part about it is he recognized it right away."
Scherzer said along with his hands, his front side is opening up too early, which is why his control is suffering. Aside from that, Scherzer fully believes "everything is fine" and that his stuff is good enough to return to his 2011 form, when he finished 15-9.
"Just go out there, fix it, do it and pitch," he said. "That's all it comes down to. Just have that type of mentality. I know I'm a good pitcher in this league. I'm very capable, and I believe next start I'll be right where I need to be."
After being released from the Tigers on Thursday, Brandon Inge signed with the Athletics on Sunday and was penciled in to play third base and bat eighth Monday.
"I'm really thrilled for him," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "It's a good situation. He's back at third base, and hopefully everything works out great for him. He handled everything as professional as you could handle it. So I hope that this is one of those situations where change is better."
Ryan Raburn, who has been dealing with soreness in his right hamstring, was removed from Sunday's game against the Yankees. However, he insisted he will be fine. Although he admits he can't run at 100 percent yet, he is continuing to receive treatment and should be back in the next few days.
Anthony Odoardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.