By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – According to USA Today, Detroit Tigers superstar Miguel Cabrera said Monday that he still feels the effects of the injury that required core muscle repair surgery in November, and he said longtime Tigers ace Justin Verlander is in the same boat after undergoing the same surgery as Cabrera in January.
“There are times when I feel good, but there are always muscles that are tightening, muscles that are not functioning properly,” Cabrera told USA Today in Spanish. “It’s part of the process. The same thing is happening to Justin Verlander, but the difference is he pitches every five days, so you don’t see it as frequently.
“But as he and I talked about, we’re never going to offer any excuses for our performance,” Cabrera continued. “We always want to be out on the field and compete, and I think that’s the most important thing we can do, compete and try to get past this tough time. And the main thing is we’re in first place.”
For most any other player, a .306 batting average, 14 home runs, 34 doubles and 75 runs batted in at the All-Star break would be evidence of an impressive first half. For Cabrera, the two-time defending American League MVP and Triple Crown winner, the numbers represent a significant dip in production.
By this time last season, Cabrera had a .365 batting average with 30 home runs, 20 doubles and 95 runs batted in.
“I think it has affected me quite a bit, like last year, when in the last month I wasn’t using my bottom half, my feet and the waist area,” Cabrera told USA Today. “I hope I can slowly regain that. The good thing is I haven’t gotten too anxious. I just try to find ways to help my team win.”
The Tigers entered the All-Star break with a 6.5-game lead in the AL Central, and they finished the first half 15 games over .500.
When local reporters spoke to Cabrera on Tuesday, prior to the All-Star Game, he evidently did not care to discuss his health again.
Cabrera’s injury contributed to him missing 14 games last season, which is the most he has missed in any full season in his career.