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Doug Martin medically cleared from shoulder injury

For all the free agents imported by the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers regime, one of the most important additions is a young player returning from a torn labrum that cost him the entire second half of the 2013 season.

Running back Doug Martin said Friday that he expects to gain medical clearance next week and should be ready for offseason workouts on April 22.

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"It's been too long since I've been in the game," Martin said, via Rick Brown of the Lakeland Ledger. "I can't wait to get back on the field."

Coach Lovie Smith has identified Martin as his "bell cow" in a power-running game, but the new offensive staff has promised to use multiple backs to a greater extent than Greg Schiano did.

As disappointing as Schiano's two-year tenure turned out to be, his coaching staff deserves credit for a rushing scheme that allowed mediocre talents such as Bobby Rainey and Mike James to excel when Martin went down last season.

We suspect Martin's volume and fantasy value will take a hit in new coordinator Jeff Tedford's offense even if the runner recaptures his rookie-season form as one of NFL's most effective per-play backs.

UPDATE: Martin tweeted Monday that his shoulder has been cleared for football activities.

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