Sergio Martinez may not need knee surgery, will have MRI on Monday

Jeff Bottari - Getty Images

Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez will have an MRI next Monday to find out whether he needs knee surgery for a ruptured medial meniscus.

Sergio Martinez may not need knee surgery after all. After visiting a doctor in Madrid, Martinez was diagnosed with a ruptured medial meniscus in his right knee, and will have an MRI next Monday to see whether or not he can avoid the surgery, which was expected after his win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr on September 15.

Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KO) has had trouble with the knee for a while now, and aggravated the nagging injury in the epic 12th round of his fight with Chavez, when he was knocked down and later shoved over, ultimately surviving the late surge by his opponent.

If he does not need the surgery, Martinez could return earlier than expected. He's said he wants to make a title defense in his native Argentina, but he was initially expected to be out until May 2013, with April also mentioned recently as a target date for his next fight.

At 37, anything that could avoid a surgery and rehab process would be good news for Martinez, as he doesn't have a lot of years left as a top fighter, and missing significant time or coming back with limited mobility - especially given his style - could cut his time as an elite fighter down significantly. So the hope will be that Martinez can avoid the surgery, get back in the ring, and move forward for the next couple of years before natural decline really sets in.

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