Well, it is probably not the news Detroit Tigers’ fans were hoping to hear, but it is not entirely unexpected.
According to a series of tweets by Anthony Fenech, the Tigers’ beat writer for the Detroit Free Press, Miguel Cabrera is almost certainly not going to be ready for the start of Spring Training when full squads begin their initial workouts on Tuesday, February 24.
Fenech reported this after meeting with Tigers’ head trainer Kevin Rand.
Of course the middle of February puts things a little too close to the opening of camp in Lakeland. Should Miggy be cleared to play, he would have to begin an abbreviated off-season regimen and a bit of rehab to knock off the rust before he can enter into a game.
Rand, however, has not ruled Cabrera in or out for Opening Day, saying it is “too early to tell.”
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Cabrera underwent surgery in late October to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture in his navicular bone. The bone spurs were a known issue, but the Tigers were unaware of the more serious issue that has caused Miggy to be off his feet since the surgery.
Perhaps the best Tigers’ fans can hope for at this point is a comeback of Cabrera near the end of Spring Training, much like Justin Verlander did last year. J.V., coming off core muscle surgery in Jan. 2014, appeared in games the final two weeks of the Grapefruit League and was healthy enough to get the Opening Day start.
If Cabrera misses time into the season, it will be interesting (code for frightening) to see how the Tigers tinker with their lineup.
Get well soon, Miggy.
In addition to relying on their franchise player in the 2015 season, the team also has Jose Iglesias and Bruce Rondon penciled in as strong 2015 contributors. The two players, who missed all of last year, are still on their projected schedules.
Iglesias, who had surgery to repair shin splints last March, will consult doctors later this week.
Rondon had Tommy John surgery at the end of Spring Training 2014 and appears to be on track to be a contributor when pitchers and catchers report on Thursday, February 24.
So while the news could be better, it is not entirely unexpected. Nonetheless, fans will need to hold their breath in the coming days and weeks ahead as Iglesias and Cabrera hopefully get cleared to return full-time.