DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera is finally getting a rest. The Tigers superstar and potential two-time American League MVP underwent successful surgery Tuesday morning to repair the groin and abdominal injuries that hampered him from September into the postseason, turning the slugger into a shell of himself.
The surgery will require 6-8 weeks of rehab, the Tigers said in a press release. Even on the conservative side, that timetable should allow Cabrera to return to full workouts in time for the start of Spring Training next February.
Cabrera underwent surgery to repair the core muscles in the groin area. Dr. William Meyers, the noted specialist in hernia surgery, performed the procedure in Philadelphia.
Dr. Meyers' website states that a core muscle injury is often called a "sports hernia," even though though it is not technically a hernia. Either way, it sheds some light on what Cabrera was playing through on his way to a third consecutive batting title and the Tigers' third straight postseason run. Cabrera's injury had been diagnosed by Dr. Meyers at the end of September as a Grade 2-3 groin strain, including fiber tears, just short of a rupture.
The surgery reflects what has been said since season's end, that rest alone would not have done much to help Cabrera heading into the postseason. He hit one home run over the final 25 games of the regular season, and his limited mobility left him with only one double in that span, despite several hits off the outfield fences.
Cabrera batted .262 (11-for-42) in the postseason with two home runs, seven RBIs and four runs scored.
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said last week that Cabrera agreed to be examined only after being assured that he wouldn't be shut down from playing in the postseason.
"He felt he wasn't going to be shut down, and in fact, we had to assure him when he went to see Dr. Meyers prior to the postseason, we gave him the guarantee, as Dr. Meyers did, that he wouldn't be shut down under any circumstances," Dombrowski said. "He did not want to be shut down. He wanted to play."
Cabrera acknowledged as much Sunday night after accepting the Hank Aaron Award as the American League's best hitter, as voted on by fans and a panel of Hall of Famers.
"We understood I was hurt, but I don't want to open up and try to tell the other team that I was hurt, and say I was like such-and-such percent," Cabrera said. "I want to be out there strong. I want to be on the field and try to compete and try to win some games. So it was hard to play like that, but I want to play like that. I want to go out and help my team like that. It was my choice."