Cabrera, Candelario exit with injuries

First baseman leaves with lower back tightness, third baseman sustains knee contusion

September 23rd, 2017

DETROIT -- The back issues that have bothered all season flared up again during Saturday's 10-4 loss to the Twins at Comerica Park, forcing the Tigers first baseman out of the game after one inning with lower back tightness.

Cabrera was the first of three Tigers to leave the game with injuries. Reliever Alex Wilson suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right fibula on an eighth-inning line drive, then third baseman left with a right knee contusion after jamming his knee against the dugout railing while chasing an eighth-inning foul ball.

Cabrera and Candelario are both day-to-day, though Cabrera is unlikely to play in Sunday's home finale while he undergoes an MRI on his back. Wilson is done for the season, but is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

The first inning was eventful for Cabrera, which might be why his back acted up. He had to run down Jeimer Candelario's errant throw from third base all the way in right field as sped around the bases for the Twins' first run.

Cabrera seemed limited while running in the bottom of the inning, settling for a single instead of extra bases on an opposite-field liner down the right-field line. Cabrera went base to base from there before being stranded at third.

"I noticed him when he was hitting, it looked like it was bothering him," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

Cabrera missed last Sunday's game against the White Sox with lower back tightness after aggravating the injury in the previous game. He had been optimistic that the rest he gained earlier this month while serving a seven-game suspension would help alleviate the issues, but to no avail.

Cabrera has been insistent on playing out the season rather than shutting down early, despite a struggle to the finish. He's batting .228 (13-for-57) with two home runs and three RBIs in September.

"He's about to get four months off," Ausmus said earlier this week. "So four months and two weeks are going to help him?"

Cabrera was planning to have an MRI exam once he returned home to Miami after the season ends. Instead, they'll try to have it done in Detroit in the next few days to get to the bottom of the recurring issues.

Cabrera's back issues are expected to be a long-term issue for him as he ages into his mid- and upper-30s. He has talked about changing his offseason workout routine and working on his body frame to try to lessen the wear and tear.

"This is going to be an issue for him for the rest of his career," Ausmus said earlier this week.

Cabrera's contract is guaranteed through 2023, when he'll turn 40 years old. He has vesting options for 2024 and 2025 if he finishes in the top 10 of the Most Valuable Player Award voting the previous seasons.