Tigers cautious with Miguel Cabrera

LAKELAND, Fla. -- While Miguel Cabrera says he is ready to rejoin the Tigers' lineup, Detroit wants to go slowly and wait for doctors to give their OK.

The third baseman broke a bone below his right eye Monday when struck by a bad-hop grounder off the bat of Philadelphia's Hunter Pence, an injury that left a bloody gash requiring eight stitches.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland applauded Cabrera's desire to return.

"Miguel wants to play but we are going to be following doctor's orders," Leyland said Saturday. "He really wants to go."

Leyland said he looked at photos of Cabrera's eye on Friday and said the swelling has subsided, Cabrera will be re-evaluated on Tuesday in Lakeland. Leyland said he is confident Cabrera will be ready for the Tigers' opener on April 5 but also said a stint on the disabled list remained a possibility.

Leyland said that once Cabrera receives medical clearance, he will need a day in batting cages before playing in an exhibition. Cabrera batted .344 for the Tigers last season with 30 homers and 105 RBIs.