Doug Martin still hoping to make it back this season

AP

Buccaneers running back Doug Martin knows that he’s going to need surgery on his left shoulder at some point, but he’s holding out hope that he won’t need to have an operation until after the year comes to an end.

Martin, who did not practice on Wednesday, has been in a holding pattern for the last few weeks as he tries to strengthen his shoulder enough to allow him to play with the torn labrum that is going to send him to the operating room. Martin said Wednesday that he feels like everything is trending in the right direction.

“Everything is looking good,” Martin said, via the Tampa Tribune. “I’m doing everything the trainer’s telling me and it is improving. The pain’s decreasing and the range of motion is increasing.”

Coach Greg Schiano said that the team still needs to figure out what’s in Martin’s best interest before making a call about the running back’s return to the lineup. Schiano said that the fact that Mike James has played well in place of Martin will not have any bearing on the decision that they wind up making about the future of their 2012 first-round pick.