Cabrera expected to play in Tigers' 1st game back

BY foxsports • July 15, 2011

Jim Leyland's leisurely break from the grind of the regular season was interrupted Tuesday night when his best hitter left the All-Star game with an injury.

On Thursday, the Detroit manager was optimistic that slugger Miguel Cabrera would be fine. The first baseman is expected to play Friday night when the Tigers return from the break with a home game against the Chicago White Sox.

''I don't have any reason to believe different.'' Leyland said.

Cabrera is hitting .311 with 18 home runs and 59 RBIs this season. He left the All-Star game Tuesday night after hurting an oblique muscle in his side while swinging.

''That sends a red flag up, even when you're home relaxing,'' Leyland said.

The Tigers held a workout Thursday night at Comerica Park. It was optional for the team's All-Stars, and there was no sign of Cabrera.

Catcher Alex Avila, who also played in the All-Star game, said Cabrera's injury was benign enough that he didn't even realize the first baseman had left the game because of it.

''I didn't know he came out of the game because of something,'' Avila said. ''When I saw him in the clubhouse, he said he was fine.''

Avila, the son of Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila, had a chance to play in front of his grandfather Ralph at the All-Star game.

''That was the first time he saw me play live in the big leagues,'' Avila said. ''When I made my debut, he was actually in Michigan, but flew back to Florida because he got nervous.''

The Tigers led second-place Cleveland by a half-game in the AL Central heading into Thursday's games. Detroit announced Thursday that it had brought left-hander Brad Thomas off the disabled list and sent him outright to Triple-A Toledo. Thomas was bothered by inflammation of his left elbow.

Right-hander Al Alburquerque, who went on the DL at the end of last month because of inflammation in his right forearm, threw a bit off the mound during the workout.

Leyland also said second baseman Carlos Guillen, who hasn't played since last August because of a left knee problem, could be back soon.

''I've gotten great reports so far,'' Leyland said. ''He's swinging the bat very well and moving around with no problems, but like I've said, I'm leaving that one all up to the medical people until he shows up and is ready to play.''