LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers decided Miguel Cabrera wasn't quite ready for a return under the television lights Thursday night. But that should be the end of his wait.
With no full batting practice since taking a high hopper to his right eye a week and a half ago, manager Jim Leyland and the team's medical staff decided to give him one more day to catch up to game speed.
Instead, Cabrera will be back in the lineup Friday, when the Tigers visit the Orioles in Sarasota, Leyland said.
"I'll play him the rest of the way out if he's OK," Leyland said.
That would give Cabrera five Grapefruit League games before the Tigers head north, which should allow him time to get his timing back for Opening Day.
Cabrera has missed nine games since the ball in question caused a non-displaced fracture to the orbital floor under his right eye. Doctors cleared him for activity Tuesday after a week of rest, and he began taking ground balls again Wednesday.