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Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, during an appearance Sunday at Laurel Park Place in Livonia, talks about offseason work on making his back stronger. Geoff Robinson, Detroit News

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Livonia — Miguel Cabrera made a rare December appearance in Metro Detroit when he popped into Pro Sports Zone at Laurel Park Place Mall on Sunday evening.

After starting his autograph session with the public more than 40 minutes later than scheduled, Cabrera worked his way through the happy faces that were there to see one of baseball’s greatest hitters.

He then stopped for a minute to talk to The Detroit News.

After suffering through two herniated disks in his lower back during a sluggish 2017 season, leading to the worst year of his career, Cabrera said his offseason training regimen is going well.

“It feels better,” he said of his ailing back. “I’m doing my rehab and trying to get ready for the season.”

Doctors have advised Cabrera to work on his core strength this offseason to take some of the pressure off of his back muscles. That means less time lifting weights and more time working on the muscle group that supports the back.

“We’ll see next year how we’re doing,” Cabrera said, when asked if he was feeling stronger than during last season.

Cabrera, 34, posted career-lows across the board. He hit .249 with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs.

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