Reigning American League MVP Miguel Cabrera says he has yet to fully recover from a groin tear that plagued him at the end of 2013.
"There are times when I feel good, but there are always muscles that are tightening, muscles that are not functioning properly," the Detroit Tigers slugger told USA Today on Monday. "It's part of the process."
Cabrera, who will bat cleanup for the AL in Tuesday night's All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis, has posted strong first-half numbers despite the lingering ailments, hitting .306 with 75 RBIs.
But his 14 home runs at the break are down from past years.
By comparison, he had 30 at this point of the season in 2013.
Cabrera said recovery from an injury is also the reason why teammate Justin Verlander has struggled to an 8-8 record and a 4.88 ERA in the first half.
The right-hander had core muscle surgery in January following a groin injury.
"The same thing is happening to Justin Verlander, but the difference is he pitches every five days, so you don't see it as frequently," Cabrera told USA Today.
"But as he and I talked about, we're never going to offer any excuses for our performance. We always want to be out on the field and compete, and I think that's the most important thing we can do, compete and try to get past this tough time. And the main thing is we're in first place."