ST. LOUIS -- Not long after accepting his second consecutive Hank Aaron Award as the American League's top offensive performer, Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera said Sunday that he will have surgery to repair a left groin tear that hobbled him during the latter part of the season.
"Those are decisions you have to make sometimes, if not it affects your future," Cabrera told ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas. "If not, it could hurt your career, and that's what I based my decision on. I consulted with the team and made this decision personally so I could keep playing with the team. I tried to [play hurt] to take advantage of the chance we had in the playoffs, because with so many good teams you never know when a chance like this will come along. It took me eight or nine years to get back in the playoffs and I wanted to be back there and help the team win."
The Tigers confirmed the news Sunday night, according to multiple reports.
"I don't know anything about the operation, I don't want to know the details, I just hope it heals fast," Cabrera told Rojas. "I am trusting that the doctors can fix the problem. I have a lot left in me."
Cabrera has a Grade 2 or Grade 3 groin tear, Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski revealed last week. An examination by Dr. William Meyers, a specialist in Philadelphia, led to the diagnosis. The Tigers had Cabrera fly in to see Dr. Meyers before the start of the postseason, and the slugger was to visit him again to determine whether surgery was needed.
While some have speculated that a healthy Cabrera would have been a difference-maker in the American League Championship Series won by Boston, he downplayed that after accepting the Aaron Award prior to Game 4 of the World Series at Busch Stadium. He also said he has no regrets in how he treated his injury, refusing to be shut down.
"You don't win with one player. You win with 25 guys," Cabrera said. "But maybe it makes a difference, maybe it doesn't. You want to be healthy that part of the season, and you want to be healthy in the playoffs and you want to be healthy playing in a World Series. You want to be 100 percent. It was a choice I made.
"We checked with doctors, we got different opinions. If somebody had told me, 'Rest 15 days, and you're gonna be OK,' I'd rest 15 days. But that was not the case, you know. They said it was not going to get better until after the season."
David Ortiz came out of the Red Sox dugout to give his fellow Latino superstar a big hug after the pregame on-field ceremony. Only one of them moved on to the Fall Classic. And when the Tigers were ousted by Ortiz and the Sox, Jim Leyland stepped down as their manager.
"It was like cold water," Cabrera said. "When we got the news, we were in shock. We did not know what to say. It was like we lost somebody big on our team. We lost somebody close to our heart. The good thing, he's going to stay with the organization.
"He was an inspiration to us all. I thanked him because thanks to him, I'm a better player. He always makes us believe that we can win every single game. He should have his own reasons [to retire] and I am very sad that he has retired."
Who should replace Leyland?
"I don't know," Cabrera said, although he did concede it would be a bonus to know Spanish. "The next manager, I think he's going to have a lot of help, because Gene [Lamont] is going to be here. We don't have hard players to manage. Any manager who goes out there, I think he's going to do a good job."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.