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Minor injuries starting to mount for Tigers

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LAKELAND, Fla. -- The injuries so far in Tigers camp are minor, but they're starting to add up. They now include a projected member of the Opening Day lineup, with Andy Dirks scratched from Sunday's game shortly before first pitch.

Dirks is considered day-to-day with what was called a mild left intercostal strain. He took part in pregame workouts and batting practice, but went back to the clubhouse shortly before it ended. He indicated his rib area had been tight for a little while when he was working out.

Quintin Berry replaced Dirks in Sunday's starting lineup.

Dirks characterized the decision as precautionary. That doesn't mean his absence will be brief. With three bus trips coming up in the next four days, and no urgency to rush Dirks back with Opening Day more than a month away, the Tigers could remain cautious for a while before bringing him back to action.

The timetable is similarly unclear on infielder Ramon Santiago, who's out with a strained right calf. Manager Jim Leyland tried to provide an unofficial timetable on Sunday morning, and it didn't sound good.

"You might as well mark him down as out for a while," Leyland said.

Santiago sounded more optimistic, saying he could be back in a matter of days. He said he felt better on Sunday than he did when he strained it running pregame sprints on Saturday.

"When I was running, I felt it," Santiago said, "and I looked back to see if there was anybody there. It felt like somebody spiked me."

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