By Ashley Dunkak
COMERICA PARK (CBS DETROIT) – Turns out, the injury that had so thoroughly hampered Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera since July was more severe than Cabrera and the team let on — potentially much worse.
Tigers’ General Manager Dave Dombrowski revealed Monday Cabrera wanted to keep playing, even through the pain.
Dombrowski said the issues began with an abdominal strain, through which Cabrera played in August, earning the title of Player of the Month. He could still swing the bat at that point. Against Chicago White Sox, he slid into second base and aggravated that abdominal issue as well as hurting his groin. The abdominal strain healed with time, but the groin became a bigger problem.
The Tigers had Cabrera examined by doctors in Detroit as well as Philadelphia-based Dr. William Meyers, to whom the Tigers flew Cabrera before the postseason began. The news from him, as it was from others, was not good.
“He has a groin (injury), they say Grade 2, Grade 3, which means there’s some tearing of fibers in that area,” Dombrowski said. “It was not going to heal with rest. We were sure of that. If at any point somebody would have said, ‘Shut him down. He will be healthy.’ That wasn’t going to happen according to what they said, at least not in the time frame to allow him to play this season.”
Cabrera wanted to play as much as possible. Even though the injury hurt Cabrera often, almost completely disabling him as far as defense and base running, he held off going to the doctor because he knew the news would be bad.
As Cabrera’s condition seemed to worsen as the season continued, particularly as the postseason approached, many said the Tigers should have shelved the slugger earlier so he could be healthy for the postseason. Dombrowski said that according to doctors, there was no chance of rest helping in time for the 2013 season.
“There was at no point a time where putting him on the DL would have helped this,” Dombrowski said. “In fact, the reason he didn’t go see Dr. Meyers earlier in the process is because Miguel did not want to go because I think he anticipated hearing what he was going to hear, and he chose not to do that despite every encouragement he could possibly have, and we understand why because he wanted to keep playing.”
The Tigers would have been happy to let Cabrera heal, but he wanted to play, so he did.
“He wasn’t going to be shut down,” Dombrowski said. “We had to assure him when he went to see Dr. Meyers … We gave him the guarantee, as Dr. Meyers did, that he wouldn’t be shut down under any circumstances because he just didn’t want to be shut down. He wanted to be able to play.”
Dombrowski said Cabrera will see Meyers again soon, perhaps this week, and that the injury may require surgery.