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'Possibility' Miguel Cabrera may play in game as soon as next week

Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez ran the bases on Saturday, leading to optimism they'll be ready to play at the start of the season.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Cabrera has steadily worked his way back from an offseason right ankle surgery that forced the Tigers' superstar first baseman, the team, and fans alike to wonder whether he'd be ready to return by the start of the regular season. Saturday manager Brad Ausmus said that there's a "possibility" that Cabrera could be back in the spring training lineup as soon as next week, James Schmehl of MLive noted.

Cabrera and designed hitter Victor Martinez both ran bases on Saturday for the first time since each underwent their surgeries (via's Jason Beck), adding to the optimistic news. Cabrera will make the trip to Jupiter, Fla., with the team on Sunday and Monday to continue working out, Beck wrote earlier Saturday.

Cabrera underwent right ankle surgery in Charlotte, North Carolina, in October following the Tigers' exit from the ALDS. Dr. Robert Anderson found bone spurs that he removed as well as a previously unmentioned stress fracture. Cabrera could not bear weight on the right leg for some time after that, and only began running on a gravity-assisting treadmill in mid-February.

Martinez injured the meniscus in his left knee while playing catch with his brother in February. The outcome of that -- beyond scaring everyone, Martinez included --  was a surgery to clean the meniscus, the best possible outcome, on Feb. 10. He was on crutches for three or four days, and like Cabrera later ran on the gravity-assisting treadmill. Early in March he reported to camp at Lakeland and began taking swings.

The Tigers will not rush either player back to put them on the field on Opening Day, as they'd rather be cautious and make sure both are still healthy at the end of the year instead.