DETROIT — The Tigers stated during the season that they were still unsure of whether first baseman, Miguel Cabrera, would need surgery to take care of a bone spur in his right ankle. As it turns out, he did indeed need the surgery.
Friday morning the Tigers announced that Cabrera had successfully undergone right ankle surgery Wednesday afternoon to remove bone spurs, as well as repair a stress fracture to his navicular bone.
The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Tigers stated that Cabrera would be re-evaluated in three months, which lands in January 2015, approximately three weeks before spring training begins.
"It was a surprise, I'd say, for all of us," Tigers president and GM, Dave Dombrowski told MLB.com's Jason Beck. "We were not aware (the stress fracture) was there. I'm not sure how long it was there. He did have a couple of screws inserted."
Until then, Cabrera has been advised to "avoid weight-hearing activities," which will limit his off-season workouts significantly. Dombrowski would not comment further on expectations for the 2015 season, opting to wait and see how Cabrera is on the follow-up date.
"He'll probably be pretty much inactive," Dombrowski told Beck.
The bone spur issue has been an off-and-on issue for a couple years, but it had never bother Cabrera to the point where he would need surgery until the 2014 season.
In the second half, the bone spurs became an issue to the point that Cabrera was given consecutive days off on more than one occasion, and limited to designated hitting duties on 10 occasions.
Cabrera, battling the pain, suffered poor numbers at the plate as a result for much of the second half. August proved to be a struggle to put any weight on his ankle and he finished with a .252 batting average, just one home run, and 10 RBI. His OPS was just .691 in August.
Cabrera's power didn't increase until September, when he tore the cover off the baseball to hit .379 for average, slugging .709 with eight home runs, 10 doubles, and 18 RBI. For the season Cabrera hit .313 with an American League-leading 52 doubles, drove in 25 home runs, and had 109 RBI, finishing with an .895 OPS.
However, those numbers were anything but exceptional for Cabrera, who has lived around or above the .330 mark throughout his career. Cabrera has hit 30-or-more home runs in every season except three seasons, one of them being his rookie season and the other the 2014 season.
During the 2013 season, despite battling significant pain and additional injuries, Cabrera still hit .348/.442/.636/1.078 and led the majors in all four categories. He tied a career-high in home runs, hitting 44 and drove in 137 RBI. At the end of the 2013 season, Cabrera underwent core muscle repair surgery.