But the skipper does not believe the left hip flexor injury will require a stint on the disabled list.
Don Kelly (0-for-2 with two walks) played third on Tuesday, and left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo (0-for-3 with a run) hit in Cabrera's usual No. 3 spot in the lineup.
Leyland said he does not know if Cabrera could play Wednesday or in Thursday's series finale, but he said, "I can assure you" he will not play in both.
Cabrera entered the day leading the Majors with a .358 batting average, and was in the top two in the American League's three Triple Crown categories (second in home runs with 31, and second in RBIs with 96).
The reigning American League MVP left in the bottom of the fifth inning of Monday's game after scoring gingerly from second base on a Victor Martinez RBI single. He had a conversation with head athletic trainer Kevin Rand in the dugout before taking his position in the field, where he looked uncomfortable for two batters -- Adam Dunn singled past him in the first at-bat of the inning -- before leaving.
"It felt weird," Cabrera said Monday. "It felt real weird. That base hit that Victor had, I tried to pick it up a little bit from second to home. That's why I had to go out."
The issue has been nagging Cabrera for some time, and evidently has not had much time to heal. But he has a history of durability. He's played at least 150 games in each season he's been in the Majors since his rookie year in 2003.
"He won't be out long," outfielder Torii Hunter said. "I definitely think if we need to rest him a little bit, a couple days, then we have to do that. We need him for the long run and if it takes a couple days to get him where he needs to be, then we'll do it."